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Archive for the ‘At Versailles’ Category

Drouais-Madame-du-Barry

Madame du Barry returns to Versailles

Or at least this beautiful portrait of her. The Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon purchased it at auction a few days ago for the equivalent of $140,000. The royal favorite is represented here at the age of 26 by Court painter François-Hubert Drouais. She is dressed as Flora, goddess of flowers. […]

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Madame de Pompadour by Boucher 1759

Carnival at Versailles, and the appearance of the Marquise de Pompadour

Carnival celebrations were not limited to Paris, of course. The Court at Versailles also indulged in costume balls. One such masquerade was given in the Hall of Mirrors during the night of the 25th and 26th of February 1745. Two days earlier, the sixteen-year old Dauphin Louis-Ferdinand, son of Louis XV (and future father of […]

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Marie-Antoinette-and-her-children-by-Vigee-Lebrun

Versailles, courtesy of Google’s Art Project

Yes, I know, this is old news, but would this blog still deserve its name of Versailles and more if I failed to mention that Google’s Art Project, which features some of the foremost museums in the world, allows its viewers to discover the Palace of Versailles and what may be its most famous painting, […]

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Marie-Antoinette-android

Marie-Antoinette’s android: the dulcimer player

I don’t quite like the term android applied to an 18th century artifact, though it was actually coined at that time. I much prefer automaton. To me, droids are more evocative of Star Wars than the Court of Versailles or the Enlightenment, but that just me… Anyway, all my thanks to my friend and fellow […]

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Versailles-grand-couvert-didier-rykner

The Salon of the Grand Couvert at Versailles: the room where Marie-Antoinette did not have dinner

Another Versailles update: the Salon of the Grand Couvert has been restored to its past splendor, as part of the ongoing refurbishment of the entire palace. The Salon of the Grand Couvert is part of the Queen’s Grand Apartment. Couvert means place setting in French, and this is the room where the royal couple had […]

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Louis XV as a child by Augustin Justinat

Louis XIV’s political testament

The last years of the reign of Louis XIV were marked by a horrendous series of untimely deaths in the royal family: his son, the Grand Dauphin, then his beloved grandson and granddaughter-in-law, and his great-grandson, the little Duc de Bretagne. Another of Louis XIV grandsons, the Duc de Berry, would die in a hunting […]

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Louis XIV and his heirs

Louis XIV and his heirs: sic transit gloria mundi

You can see this painting, formerly attributed to Nicolas de Largillière, at The Wallace Collection in London. It is a most interesting work, not as much by its artistic value (it is probably a copy of aLargillière original by a lesser Court painter) but because of what it tells us about the last years of […]

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Murakami-Versailles-Hall-of-Mirrors

Manga at Versailles: the Murakami exhibition

After the Jeff Koons exhibition in 2008, it seems that the Grands Appartements at Versailles are destined to showcase contemporary art. This fall, starting September 14, it will be the turn of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami to exhibit there. Mr. Murakami’s art, with which I was not heretofore familiar, is strongly influenced by manga and […]

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Mark-Twain-1871

Mark Twain at Versailles

I have mixed feelings towards Mark Twain. This is, after all, the man who dared write of Jane Austen, “Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.” Shocking. Yes, I know, now some will tell us that he didn’t really […]

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Madame-Elisabeth-of-France-daughter-of-Louis-XV

Mesdames, daughters of Louis XV

Once in a while I find lesser known pictures of these fascinating ladies, daughters of Louis XV and Queen Marie Leszczynska. I have also updated the posts. Check out the new images, in particular the beautiful portrait of Madame Louise, in her Carmelite’s scapulaire. Madame Elisabeth, the ambitious Duchess of Parma (left, by Nattier) Madame […]

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