During the Second Empire period, the eight portraits of the imperial family, installed by Joachim Murat, were replaced with those of the great European Sovereigns of Napoleon III’s time:

  • Pope Pius IX;
  • Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria;
  • King Victor Emmanuel of Italy;
  • Tsar Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia;
  • Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom;
  • King Frederick William I of Prussia (former State in north-eastern Germany);
  • Queen Isabella II of Spain;
  • King William I of Württemberg (former State in south-western Germany).

This decoration was done at the request of Napoleon III who held his Council of Ministers meetings in the room.

Today, the Council of Ministers meets in the Salon des Ambassadeurs, which is larger and more centrally situated, and smaller official meals are held in the Salon des Portraits.

Salon des portraits
Portraits Room © Présidence de la République

Work in autumn 2019 restored this room to its former glory. The paintwork and gilding on the panelling were restored, and the wiring was brought up to current standards and modernized.