Posts Tagged ‘Versailles’

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 […]



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 […]



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 […]



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 […]



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 […]



18th century court gown

18th century court costume and Marie-Antoinette

I saw the Court Pomp and Royal Ceremony exhibition at Versailles on its closing day last June and would have hated to miss it. My expectations were very high, and yet I could not help being somewhat disappointed, not by the quality of the objects on display, which were magnificent, but by their scarcity. I […]



Madame Victoire Roslin

Madame Victoire and Lent

I told you we would return to the daughters of Louis XV before long.  So let’s go back once again to Madame Campan’s remembrances of Madame Victoire: Madame Victoire, kind, sweet-tempered and affable, lived with the most amiable simplicity within a society that cherished her; she was adored by her household. Without quitting Versailles, without […]



Versailles Hall of Mirrors Ball of the Yew Trees

A breach of étiquette at Versailles

Versailles étiquette may sound daunting, but it fell by the wayside on special occasions. Such was the case during a masquerade in the Hall of Mirrors on the 25th and 26th of February 1745. It was given in honor of the Mardi-Gras period that precedes the Lent fast, and in celebration of the marriage, two […]



Madame Adelaide Nattier

Madame Adélaïde, Daughter of Louis XV

After the twins Madame Elisabeth and Madame Henriette, Louis XV and Marie Leszczynska had another daughter, Marie-Louise, and two sons, Louis-Ferdinand and Philippe. Marie-Louise and Philippe both died in childhood, an all too commonplace tragedy at the time. Louis-Ferdinand, the eagerly awaited Dauphin, would be the father of the future Louis XVI. The next royal […]



Madame Sophie Perin Salbreux

“La Petite Reine” is not Marie-Antoinette

Don’t feel bad if you believed otherwise: I did too, along with many curators and art historians. Of course I thought the face was rounder than in most of Marie-Antoinette’s portraits, the nose pointy instead of aquiline. The expression was not quite right either, lacking in boldness and character. But the Queen herself complained that […]