Versailles Palace from a decorative painter’s eye: Faux Marble


I absolutely love the execution of this faux marble!  On this wainscot, Red and Mixed Campan form a dazzling composition.  A very assured and technical panel.   Notice the color shift from pink to burgundy – and the pink transition off the green.  Painted in the mid 19th c in oil.





Green Antique breccia mantle – painted over real marble, probably for decorative reasons.   Done in oil.


Aleppo breccia from Syria- similar to Green antique with its angulated breccia.  The mantle is real – very effective match.  Done in oil.


Louis Philippe staircase, hand-painted Green Campan.  Notice how every single fragment is painted with a brush instead of using turpentine to open up.


It’s not my style to paint with such detail, but I really admire the work


This beautiful breccia Africana is a fantastic achievement. Notice that the oil has yellowed considerably.   Also, notice how the stile is being painted in counter linear for more effect.



This 19th c Rouge Royal pedestal is extremely well-painted,  matching very closely to the wainscot in the background.


I hate to criticize, but this is not a successful faux marble.  I can tell it has been done fairly recently.  See the rough fissures that are placed badly and too transparent.


This Rouge Royal column is part of a trompe l’oeil mural.  I love 2 things about this pillar.  First, the bluish glow on the highlight gives off a high polished look. Secondly, the bronze base is super successful with its dramatic reflective light.


Rouge Languedoc done in one shot using oil paint (chalky flat) and turpentine.  A very theatrical interpretation.


Theatrical oil great Rouge Languedoc window seat done in one shot.  Very effective.


Close up on a Rouge Languedoc baseboard in oil.  The twisters (white part) are painted on top of the red.  This is very effective.


White Carrera in between gilded paneling.  The veining is superb.


From the Louis Philippe staircase


I was hooked up with private access to one of apartments on the grounds.  On the next 3 images, you will see classic 18th century faux marble done in casein-based paint.  Notice that the veining is more theatrical and less refined. Due to the medium, the isn’t any overglazing.





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  1. Thank you Pierre for sharing the trip to Versailles. If I had looked at these before your class I would not have the appreciation for the technique that I do now. Thank you so much for all the knowledge and experience you have shared with me.

  2. enjoyed that thoroughly, thank you!

  3. Thank you so much for this. I was hoping to get there for the workshop. Still catching up from a broken foot last year…I hope to make it one day.

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