Posts Tagged ‘Marie Antoinette’

Maria-Theresa-and-the-imperial-family

2nd of November 1755: birth of Marie-Antoinette

Or, to give her her proper birthname, Archduchess Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen, fifteenth child of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I Stephen (né François-Etienne de Lorraine) and his wife, Empress Maria Theresa. The little Archduchess was born at the Palace of the Hofburg in Vienna. Within the imperial family the little girl was […]



marie-antoinette-to-the-scaffold

16th of October 1793: execution of Marie-Antoinette

After the fall of the monarchy on the 10th of August 1792, the dethroned Queen was imprisoned in the Tower of the Temple, along with her husband, Louis XVI, their children and Madame Elisabeth, the King’s younger sister. The following December, Louis XVI stands trial before the National Convention, the elected body that now governs […]



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 […]



Vigee-Lebrun-Lady-Hamilton-as-the-Persian-Sibyl

Emma, Lady Hamilton, seen by Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

I enjoy following Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, one the most famous and successful portraitists of her time, to the private apartments of Queen Marie-Antoinette at Versailles, to Regency England, or to the salons of Napoléon’s sisters. Today we will accompany Madame Vigée-Lebrun to Italy, where she emigrated as early as 1789, at the onset of the French […]



The Temple: Napoléon’s political jail

For the King relates the circumstances of the Rue Nicaise conspiracy, a failed attempt to assassinate Napoléon Bonaparte on Christmas Eve 1800. Indeed Napoléon had a surfeit of political enemies. They fell into two opposite camps: the Chouans were Royalists and wanted to restore King Louis XVIII to the throne, while the Jacobins yearned to […]



Versailles-chapel-royal-from-gallery

A virtual visit of the Chapel Royal at Versailles

I was amazed by the quality of the images on the official Versailles site, in particular the gorgeous paintings of the ceiling. You cannot see the Chapel any better, even if you visit Versailles, Most visitors are only admitted to the upper level, where the royal family heard Mass from a central tribune (whence, in […]



Empress-Marie-Louise-and-the-king-of-rome-Gerard

Napoléon and Marie-Louise: the politics of love

This year is the bicentennial of the marriage of Napoléon Bonaparte and Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria and, amazingly enough, this is the first time an exhibition is dedicated to dedicated to this second Empress of the French. This one is set in the palace of Compiègne, 70 miles north-east of Paris. In 1810 Napoléon was […]



lilac

Marie-Antoinette and lilac

One of the joys of the month of May is the sight and fragrance of lilac blossoms. Lilacs adorned the gardens of Versailles and Trianon. They had been great favorites with Louis XIV, and Marie-Antoinette enjoyed them no less in her private domain of Trianon. She liked them so much that, when it came to […]



Marie Antoinette a la rose by Vigee Lebrun

Marie-Antoinette and Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun: the Queen and the painter

Without Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun’s many portraits of Marie-Antoinette, our mental image of the Queen would be different, so iconic have these paintings become. All the more reason to look into the relationship between the two ladies. And what better way to do so than return to Madame Lebrun’s Memoirs? It was in the year 1779, she […]



Marie Antoinette van Meytens

Marie Antoinette’s unsung legacy to French food: the croissant

If you watched Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, you know that the Queen liked to be surrounded by pyramids of gorgeous pastries and followed a strict macaroon-and-champagne diet. Or did she? Well, according to contemporary accounts, not at all. The etiquette required the King and Queen to take some of their meals in public, in front […]