Varengeville Room

Restoring the Varengeville Room to Original Size & Recreating Effects of Light

project by Alex Bass

Marquise de Pompadour and Marquis de Marigny (her brother) by Alexander Roslin (1754). Composition by Alex Bass.

The Boiserie from the Hôtel de Varengeville (ca. 1736–52, with later additions) in the Wrighstman Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is the image I used as the basis for my digital rescaling and lighting adjustments.

Working entirely with the Varengeville Room, my first step was to restore it to its original size, and secondly, accurately light the room at different times of the day, specifically in the morning with sunlight and in the evening with candlelight. What is lost on the visitor in the Met’s Wrightsman Galleries is the actual experience of what it would be like to exist in these spaces during different times of day, especially the more intimate spaces of the mid 18th century. Not only are we unable to see the rooms being utilized, we are unable to visualize the interaction between people and furniture and how the light in these rooms ties the entire scene together. These qualities are not merely intricacies, but crucial factors that contribute to the purpose of these new interior spaces – communicating both their social and aesthetic importance and the true grandeur of the Rococo decorative style of the early–mid 18th century France.

Click here to see the restoration of the Varengeville Room to its orginal size…

All Composite Images & Text by Alex Bass