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Archive for the ‘At Versailles’ Category

jeff koons versailles

Jeff Koons at Versailles: a few pictures…

… are worth a thousand words.

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Jeff Koons Balloon Flower

Jeff Koons before Versailles

The exhibition opens today! And whoever dreamed up this concept had a certain flair for provocation. The French and international press is abuzz with talk of the controversy. I, for one, am no fan of Jeff Koons‘s Made in Heaven series, featuring the artist involved in various sexual activities with his then wife, former porn […]

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The new Royal Gates at Versailles: replicas or frauds?

The new Royal Gates of Versailles have just been inaugurated in the midst of much media fanfare. The Daily Telegraph, quoting Frédéric Didier, Chief Architect of of France’s Historical Monuments, assures us that the new gates are exact copies of the originals built in the 1680s, under the reign of Louis XIV. “It was very […]

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Versailles: an interview of the head gardener

I recommend this fascinating interview of Alain Baraton, keeper of the Gardens of Versailles, in the pages of the Washington Post. Mr. Baraton supervises it all, from the formal jardins à la française designed by Le Nôtre for Louis XIV to the artificially natural grounds of the Queen’s Hamlet at Trianon. The topics range from […]

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Versailles General view

Discovering Versailles in the 18th century

We saw the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle de Montserrat, readying herself for her first visit to Versailles. Especially for a young woman who was going to be presented to the Queen, it was a momentous experience. Let us listen to Gabrielle: The Duchess and I left early on a fine Sunday morning […]

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18th century French court dress 1778

Dressing for Court, and preparing to glide…

So far in this series we have followed the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle de Montserrat, to Versailles on several occasions. How was she dressed then? Well, a lady was supposed to look like the fashion plate. The legend translates as “Young lady of quality in great dress, wearing an elegant bonnet or […]

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Versailles Queen s Bedchamber

Queen Marie-Antoinette’s Bedchamber at Versailles

The prior post in this series had the heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle de Montserrat, presented to Marie-Antoinette. Gabrielle is now part of the Court, though she has not been offered any official position there (yet.) As a presented lady, Gabrielle is admitted to the Queen’s Bedchamber. This room, like the Salon of […]

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Versailles Salon of the Nobles

The presentation to Queen Marie-Antoinette at Versailles

The heroine of Mistress of the Revolution, Gabrielle de Montserrat, has arrived in Paris as a teenage widow. The next step is her “presentation” at Court. What were the requirements to be presented at Court? You had to (1) prove that your family had been noble since at least the year 1400, and (2) find […]

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Versailles Chapel Royal

Sunday Mass at the Chapel Royal in Versailles

The Chapel Royal at Versailles a wonder, one of the best examples of baroque architecture in France. In Mistress of the Revolution, my heroine, Gabrielle de Montserrat, is presented at Court at the age of seventeen, and she attends Sunday Mass in the Palace of Versailles with her elderly cousin and friend the Duchess d’Arpajon. […]

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Marie-Antoinette: why “The Austrian Woman?”

That was what Marie-Antoinette was called even before she set foot on French soil, a few months short of her fifteenth birthday: l’Autrichienne, “The Austrian Woman.” One must keep in mind that Austria was a hereditary enemy of France, a rival in the struggle for European and world dominance. The name was always meant as […]

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