Posts Tagged ‘Versailles’

Marie-Antoinette, simple elegance and the secrets of Versailles

Truth be told, Marie-Antoinette as a teenager and young woman very much enjoyed the outrageous hairstyles of her time, and during all of her years at Versailles she had to wear the court dress for all formal occasions. But it is true that, as her taste matured, she came to appreciate the freedom of simple […]



Marie-Antoinette souvenirs at auction

These dainty pink and green silk shoes belonged to Marie-Antoinette. They sold yesterday for 62,460 euros, almost $82,000, at auction in Paris. They are a French size 36 1/2 (6.5 in the US.) According to the auctioneer’s information, they were presented to the Queen by Alexandre-Bernard Ju-Des-Rets, gentleman of her household, at Versailles in 1775. A pink […]



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. […]



Marie-Antoinette-wedding

16th of May 1770: wedding of the Dauphin Louis-Auguste and Archduchess Marie-Antoinette

Louis-Auguste was 15, Marie-Antoinette 14. A marriage that began with mutual distrust and disdain, and ended in the closest of bonds… For details on the marriage certificate, misspellings, ink stains and all, see this post, and also this one on 18th century bridal attire



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 […]



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, […]



Madame_Royale_cover

Madame Royale, a novel by Elena Maria Vidal

The French Restoration (1814-1830) is an era woefully neglected by historical novelists. Fortunately, Elena Maria Vidal helps fill this void with her Madame Royale. Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte de France, Duchesse d’Angoulême, was the eldest child of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, and later the last Queen of France, albeit for a few minutes, until her husband’s abdication on […]



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 […]



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 […]



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 […]