The laiterie de propreté, or
“Refreshments Dairy,” was one of two dairies built for Marie Antoinette
at her hamlet retreat in the Petit Trianon.
Milks and cheeses were
produced at the first dairy, the laiterie de préparation (“Preparation Dairy,”–it has not survived) and brought for consumption at the laiterie de propreté.
Although today the Refreshments Dairy features ornate decor, including a trompe l'oeil
ceiling, white marble basins, several gilded ram’s head fountains and
an exquisitely carved marble table, these were not part of the dairy’s
original design. The basins and fountains were not added until the
Bourbon Restoration, and the central table was installed on the order of
Napoleon’s second wife, Empress Marie-Louise, during the First Empire.
The above painting of Madame Aughié,
the sister of Madame Campan, gives a glimpse of what the Refreshments
Dairy looked like shortly after it was completed in 1785, as per the original plans: a bare
ceiling, no fountains, and plain white walls. In other words, the
Refreshments Dairy did not differ significantly in appearance from the
original Preparation Dairy. However, the dairy was deemed too plain (and
perhaps, since it was meant to be used by the royal family, too
indistinguishable from the “ordinary” dairy) by the royal designers who
managed the estates of Versailles and in 1786 or 1787, the walls were
redone to simulate white marble and a trompe l'oeil ceiling was added.