Thursday, October 11, 2018

October Offerings: Party on the Stairs by Adelaide Claxton,

After all: a truly good party doesn't just last a lifetime...

[image: Party on the Stairs by Adelaide Claxton, circa 1860-1890]

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

October Offerings: Past Petrifying Posts

Happy October!  Every week this month I will be posting at least one spooktacular offering appropriate for this delightfully scary season.

Up first is a highlight of just a few of my favorite October-themed posts for your browsing pleasure!

Ten 18th Century Treats for Halloween
A selection of ghoulish treats.

Marie Antoinette Costume Ideas
Care to dress like a queen?

The Three Witches from Macbeth by Daniel Gardner
Double, double, toil and trouble: a look at a witchy portrait of a popular trio.

John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles 
A look at the video recording of a stunning--and spooky--opera.

A selection of portraits and anecdotes about 18th-century masquerades.

The Horned Witch, Katharina Kepler, and Mlle de Blois
Who was the mysterious woman in this portrait?

Stay tuned for the rest of the month for even more October offerings!

Friday, August 17, 2018

A miniature of Marie Antoinette by Dumont, 1792-1795

A charming miniature of Marie Antoinette by François Dumont, after a portrait by Alexandre Kucharski. Circa 1792-1795.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The "Manchester" chemise à la reine

The chemise à la reine, popularized by Marie Antoinette, is one of the most iconic styles to emerge from the 1780s. There are not many surviving extant chemise gowns today, likely due to a combination of the relative frailty of the material and the fact that  many of them would have been reworked and repurposed by their owners as styles changed over the years. Thankfully, there is a remarkably intact chemise à la reine in the Costume Collection of the Manchester Art Gallery.

Until recently, the only photo of this beautiful gown was small and low-definition. The Manchester Art Gallery has uploaded a much clearer photograph of the gown, which can now be seen in all its simple splendor. One can easily imagine Marie Antoinette wearing this gown, finished with a blue sash, while wandering around her beloved hamlet.


Monday, July 9, 2018

Music Monday: II. Air [Colette]: J'ai perdu tout mon bonheur (1752)

Welcome to the first Music Monday! A weekly series highlighting music related to Marie Antoinette, from contemporary pieces she once sang on stage to modern songs inspired by the famous queen.

First up:

II. Air [Colette]: J'ai perdu tout mon bonheur from Le devin du village by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 

Le devin du village, or The Village Soothsayer, is a one-act opera by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The opera follows a young couple named Colin and Colette who visit a local soothsayer after suspecting one another of being unfaithful. In the end, the two are reconciled to each other's love and get married.

Le devin du village was first performed in 1752 for the royal court, where it was an immediate hit. It quickly became one of the most popular operas during its lifetime and was frequently performed in France, both on and off royal stages. It was even chosen as one of the performances held during the 1770 festivities in honor of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's marriage. In September of 1780, ten years after her wedding, Marie Antoinette chose to perform the opera on stage with her private theater troupe. Antoinette played the leading role of Collette, featured here in the opening piece, "J'ai perdu tout mon bonheur," or "I have lost all my happiness."

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

'The family of pigs brought back to the barn,' June 1791.

Following the failed flight to Montmédy, the popularity of the royal family--which was already fairly delicate--plummeted to extreme lows. While Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette bore the brunt of the satirical and extremely negative cartoons that flooded Paris in the days and weeks to come, the rest of the royal family was not spared ridicule, even the children. This particular illustration, titled "The family of pigs brought back to the barn," depicts the royal family as pigs being led back to Paris in a hay-filled cart.

[image: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie]

[image: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie]

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Camille Clifford in 18th-Century Inspired Style

Camille Clifford (1885-1971) is best known for her work as a model for "Gibson Girl" illustrations, though she did plenty of stage work during her career as well. It's highly likely that her stage work was the source for these delightful cards featuring Clifford in an 18th-century inspired costume. Wikimedia dates another image in this series to 1907 and describes it as Clifford dressed as Madame de Pompadour; in 1906, Clifford was part of the musical The Belle of Mayfair, which included a harlequinade sequence that Footlight Notes describes as featuring Camille Clifford as "La Pompadour."

[source: unknown]

 [source: unknown] 

[source: cardsandclowns]