The town house that is home to the Société Littéraire de Liège has been the organization’s headquarters since 1787. As a circle that offered relaxation, reading and conversation, it enabled members of high society to consult the main newspapers and publications of the day - which were both rare and expensive - and to discuss their contents.
Devastated by a terrible fire in 1859, the house had to be completed restored during the second half of the 19th century. The decor of the large salons was entrusted to Joseph Carpay, who had made a name for himself by decorating interiors in Liege and France, including the salons of the Palais Provincial, various churches and castles, as well as the Paris Opera and the theatre of Marseille. The walls and ceilings of the Société Littéraire de Liège are embellished with paintings representing putti, bouquets and interlacing of flowers and bunches of fruit. Wainscoting, imitation marble and stucco with gilded mouldings and allegorical figures complete the rich decor.
The restoration of this neoclassical style decor, listed as exceptional Walloon heritage since 2000, has just been completed. The work has been able to be carried out thanks to the support of the David-Constant Fund and the ING Fund. Painting, stucco and gilding have been restored to their former glory.
To mark the occasion, and with support from the David-Constant Fund, the Societé Littéraire de Liège has published a book on Joseph Carpay.