The Living Museum of the Horse (French : Musée Vivant du Cheval) is a museum in Chantilly, France dedicated to equine art and culture. It is housed in the Great Stables (Grandes Écuries) of the Château de Chantilly, about 40 km (25 mi) north of Paris.
The Great Stables were built in 1719, on the orders of Louis Henri, duke of Bourbon, Prince of Condé, who believed that he would be reincarnated as a horse. He asked the architect, Jean Aubert, to build stables that would be suitable to house a horse of his rank. The resulting 186 m long stables are considered a masterpiece of 18th century architecture. The stables could house 240 horses and up to five hundred hounds.
In 1830, Henri d'Orléans, duke of Aumale, the fourth son of King Louis-Philippe, inherited the château from his uncle, the Duc de Bourbon. In 1886, Henri bequeathed the château, the stables, the racecourse, and almost 8 km² of forest land to the Institut de France, with the stipulation that it should be preserved as it was.
Riding master Yves Bienaimé had begun his career in 1959, in the riding school housed in the stables. Twenty years later, he was struck by the state of neglect of the still-impressive building. He decided he would do what he could to bring back some of the former glory of the stables. On 6 June 1982, after four years of negotiations with the Institut over the concession, Yves and Annabel Bienaimé opened the museum to the public. Yves Bienaimé discovered Marine Oussedik's art in Equus magazine. He then asked her for works to be permanently displayed in two rooms of the museum.The first room was dedicated to Arabian horses in Arabian proverbs (in 1993) and the second one (in 1995) to the horse shows as performed within the Museum.
The museum has 31 rooms with exhibits comprising over 1,200 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and ceramics, covering equine topics like horsemanship, horse-drawn transport, art, history, equine health, and riding equipment. The museum is referred to as "living" because it houses 31 horses of various breeds. Part of the intent of the museum is to promote the education of the public by encouraging interaction with the animals. Three to five dressage demonstrations each day illustrate the basis of horsemanship, and a large equestrian show is presented at least once a month. The privately run museum receives approximately 200,000 visitors each year; it receives no public subsidy or funding from the Institut de France. The current director of the museum is Sophie Bienaimé, daughter of the founder.
The château and museum appeared in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill , where it portrayed the French home and stables of villain Max Zorin, played by Christopher Walken.
Gabrielle d'Estrées, Duchess of Beaufort and Verneuil, Marchioness of Monceaux was a mistress, confidante and adviser of Henry IV of France. She persuaded Henry to renounce Protestantism in favour of Catholicism in 1593. Later she urged French Catholics to accept the Edict of Nantes, which granted certain rights to the Protestants. Being legally impossible for the king to marry her as he was already married to Margaret of Valois, he controversially filed for an annulment to Pope Clement VIII in February 1599 to end his childless first marriage, and announced his intention to marry Gabrielle and have her crowned the next Queen of France, while legitimizing their three children that were born out of wedlock. Her coronation and wedding never occurred however due to her untimely and sudden death.
Louis Joseph de Bourbon was Prince of Condé from 1740 to his death. A member of the House of Bourbon, he held the prestigious rank of Prince du Sang.
Henri Eugène Philippe Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale was a leader of the Orleanists, a political faction in 19th-century France associated with constitutional monarchy. He was born in Paris, the fifth son of King Louis-Philippe I of the French and Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily. He used the title Duke of Aumale. He retired from public life in 1883.
Chantilly is a commune in the Oise department in the valley of the Nonette in the Hauts-de-France region of Northern France. Surrounded by Chantilly Forest, the town of 10,863 inhabitants (2017) falls within the metropolitan area of Paris. It lies 38.4 km north-northeast of the centre of Paris and together with six neighbouring communes forms an urban area of 36,474 inhabitants.
The Château de Chantilly is a historic French château located in the town of Chantilly, Oise, about 50 kilometres north of Paris. The site comprises two attached buildings: the Petit Château built around 1560 for Anne de Montmorency and the Grand Château, which was destroyed during the French Revolution and rebuilt in the 1870s. It is owned by the Institut de France, to which it was bequeathed in the will of Henri d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale.
Antoine de Pluvinel was the first of the French riding masters, and has had great influence on modern dressage. He wrote L’Instruction du Roy en l’exercice de monter à cheval, was tutor to King Louis XIII, and is credited with the invention of using two pillars, as well as using shoulder-in to increase suppleness.
François Robichon de La Guérinière (1688–1751) was a French riding master who had a profound effect on accepted methods for horse training, and one of the most influential writers on the art of dressage.
Jean Aubert was a French architect, the most successful of the Régence and designer of two of the most important buildings of the period: the stables of the Château de Chantilly and the Hôtel Biron in Paris. He also created innovative interior designs, the most notable, the separation of private and public spaces for the Palais Bourbon in Paris.
The Château d'Écouen is an historic château in the commune of Écouen, some 20 km north of Paris, France, and a notable example of French Renaissance architecture. Since 1975, it has housed the collections of the Musée national de la Renaissance.
Chantilly Racecourse is a Thoroughbred turf racecourse for flat racing in Chantilly, Oise, France, about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of the centre of the city of Paris.
The Musée Condé – in English, the Condé Museum – is a French museum located inside the Château de Chantilly in Chantilly, Oise, 40 km north of Paris. In 1897, Henri d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale, son of Louis Philippe I, bequeathed the château and its collections to the Institut de France. It included rooms remodeled as museum spaces and those left as residential quarters in the styles of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Princess Caroline of Hesse-Rheinfels-Rotenburg was Princess of Condé by marriage to Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon.
Chantilly porcelain is French soft-paste porcelain produced between 1730 and 1800 by the manufactory of Chantilly in Oise, France. The wares are usually divided into three periods, 1730-51, 1751-1760, and a gradual decline from 1760 to 1800.
The Hameau de Chantilly is a folly in the park of the Château de Chantilly built in 1774 and consisting of seven rustic thatched cottages with luxurious interiors set in a garden.
The Charolais or Charollais is an extinct breed of warmblood horse from the Charolais, the country lying around the town of Charolles, now in the Saône-et-Loire département of Burgundy, in eastern central France. Like other French warmbloods, it was the result of crossing local agricultural horses with the Thoroughbred, and was known by the name of the region without ever having a specific stud-book. Like other French warmbloods including the Angevin, the Charentais, the Cheval Limousin and the Vendéen, it was fused with the Anglo-Normand in 1958 in order to create the national warmblood stud-book, the Selle français. It was originally used as a multi-purpose horse for riding, driving, and agriculture. During the late 19th century, additional Thoroughbred blood was added and a new type emerged that was principally used as a light cavalry mount. It was also used for dressage and show jumping.
Al Shaqab is Qatar Foundation’s (QF) equestrian centre in the Al Shagub district in State of Qatar, where Arabian horses are trained. Founded in 1992 by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, Al Shaqab joined QF in 2004. Al Shaqab is now the region's leading equine education resource centre and features the breeding of Arabian horses.
The Henson Horse, or Cheval de Henson, is a modern horse breed from northeast France. It was created by the selective breeding of light saddle horses with the smaller, heavier Norwegian Fjord horse to create small horses suitable for the equestrian vacation industry. The breeders' association, Association du Cheval Henson, was formed in 1983. In 1995 the studbook was closed to horses not born from Henson parents, and in 2003 the breed was officially recognised by the French government agencies for horse breeding. A hardy breed of horse, each winter the broodmares and youngstock from several breeders are let loose together to graze freely in the wetland reserves in France.
Marine Oussedik, born on May 20, 1967, is a painter, sculptor and an illustrator specialized in horses. In 1990, she graduated from ESAG Penninghen, the Higher College of Graphic Arts, and started exhibiting in Parisian galleries the following year. Immediately afterwards she was commissioned paintings by the Living Museum of the Horse in Chantilly to be permanently displayed in two rooms. At the same time she published a book, Les chevaux d'encre. Many art books would follow including Les chevaux du Sahara in 1998, Les chevaux du vent in 2002 and Les chevaux de rois in 2003. She would be rewarded by Prix Pégase for those last two books which testify to her passion for illustrations of all kind of horses, Arabians being her favorite. In 2014, she illustrated an art book dedicated to classical French riding with texts by Guillaume Henry.
The Domaine du Lys-Chantilly is a private residential estate on a wooded site adjacent to Chantilly Forest in France, overlapping the border between the communes of Gouvieux and Lamorlaye in the département of the Oise.
The Haras national du Pin, a French national stud, is located in Le Pin-au-Haras district, in the Orne (61) department of the southern Normandy region. It is the oldest of the French "Haras Nationaux".