It is in the design of interiors where Marot’s creative genius came to flourish. Immersive design principles that were so fashionable in the Baroque period, were utilised to the maximum in partnership with other artists and highly skilled craftsmen.
Slot Zeist was designed for Willem van Nassau Odijk, a cousin of Marot’s great Patron William III. The house was orphaned from its estate and sadly suffered from a devastating fire in 1945, but the grand painted staircase, designed by Marot, has survived. The wall paintings are done in the a secco technique, an early use of oil paint applied directly to plaster. At the time this painting technique was very fashionable in France but hardly practiced in the Netherlands. Marot popularised this technique and worked with a network of artists that could execute his visions for his discerning clients.
In 1697 Marot received the prestigious commission to provide a design for the Trêveszaal, as part of the sprawling Binnenhof Complex (the governmental centre in The Hague). The Trêves Salon is currently still in use by the Dutch government for weekly meetings of the council of ministers as well as formal occasions. This stability in use and purpose over the centuries secured Marots designs without significant alterations. Typical features of Marot’s designs are still visible, such as the banded ionic pilasters and the visual interaction between trompe l’oeuil paintings and three-dimensional, sculptural elements – which provide the visitor with tantalising transitions between physical and illusory space.
Petworth’s Marble Hall is one of only a few locations in England where actual documentation exists to suggest Marot was the designer. However, the current appearance of The Marble Hall is far removed from Marot’s ideas. The original surface is hiding under extensive later overpaint and forms a barrier to fully appreciate Marot’s baroque design in its full splendour.
This exquisite Fagel cupola initially sat in a private garden of a notable courtier, with a long gallery as physical connection to the town house for which Marot also designed other interiors. There is a strong connection between the architecture, wood carvings and painted decoration, all creating an illusion of opening skies above the visitor’s heads. Looking up, one becomes immersed in, and part of groups of people that are personifications of the four seasons based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Later on, the house and garden were purchased to be incorporated in the gardens of the adjacent Noordeinde Palace which is still in use as a Royal residence and now rarely open to the public.