Lonely Planet Writer

Rare treasures from France to go on display in Australia’s National Gallery

Rare treasures from the Palace of Versailles in France will go on display at the National Gallery of Australia in December.

Palace of Versailles authorities have allowed a treasure trove of xxx to go on exhibition in Canberra's National Gallery later this year
Palace of Versailles authorities have allowed over 100French treasures to go on exhibition in Canberra’s National Gallery later this year Image by Jimena Contreras

Australian art lovers will be able to get up close and personal with over 100 rare French treasures which will go on display in the National Gallery in Canberra next December.

The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra will house a unique exhibition of French art and figures from the 1700 century
The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra will house a unique exhibition of French treasures from the 1700 and 1800 periods Image by Jim Bowen / CC BY 2.0

Included in the Palace of Versailles treasure trove going on tour are personal items from Marie-Antionette and Louis XIV.

The Palace of Versailles.
The Palace of Versailles. has loaned out a number of personal items belonging to Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette Image by David McSpadden / CC BY 2.0 

The New Daily reports that the unique exhibition will feature 130 paintings as well as sculptures, woodworks, furniture and tapestries which showcase the opulent lifestyle within the palace from the second half of the 1700s into the early 1800s period.

It is something of a coup for the gallery which has worked closely with French authorities to get agreement for the collection to leave the home country for the first time.

Major attractions in the rare treasures will undoubtedly be a formal portrait of Marie-Antoinette, a marble bust of King Louis XIV. Also on display will be the marble Lantona Fountain sculpture, which weighs in excess of 1.5 tonne marble.

The exhibition will also show a number of personal effects belonging to the pair, mostly notably a golden container for holy relics which was owned by the mother of Louis XIV. The rare treasures will also demonstrate a handcrafted chair and harp belonging to Marie-Antionette.