Monday, September 8, 2014

'Marie Antoinette' by Paul Romilly

image: a vintage illustration of Marie Antoinette and a lady walking at Versailles
credit: my collection

Marie Antoinette by Paul Romilly, translated from French:
She passes, in the flower gardens of Trianon
In her negligee of old light fabric:
was there ever freshness, grace equal to hers?
The goddess shows even in linen.

But time has a marching pace without a name:
Dishonored queen, treated as a bitch.
And filthy pamphlets rain down on 'The Austrian.'
She is "Lady Veto," when it is the king who says "no."

The senselessness of the crime astonishes history
And no expiatory offering can erase it.
The love of a whole people, the hate of a whole nation.

The poor woman in mourning, pale under her cap.
To see that specter on the scaffold, who would believe
the widow Capet was Marie Antoinette?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

'That was the sole moment when her firmness abandoned her.'

image: A wax tableau of the royal family hearing the news of the murder of the princesse de Lamballe
source: my scan/collection

From the account of Marie Thérèse Charlotte, duchesse d'Angouleme, on the dreadful day of September 3rd, 1792:

At three in the afternoon we heard dreadful outcries; my father left the dinner-table and played backgammon with my mother, to control his countenance and be able to say a few words to her without being heard. The municipal guard in the room behaved well; he closed the door and window, also the curtains, so that they might see nothing. The workmen at the Temple and the jailer Rocher joined the murderers, which increased the noise. Several officers of the National Guard and some municipals arrived; the first desired that my father should show himself at the window. The municipals fortunately opposed this; but my father, having asked what was happening, a young officer replied: "Well, if you want to know, it is the head of Mme. de Lamballe they wish to show you."

My mother was seized with horror; that was the sole moment when her firmness abandoned her. The municipals scolded the officer, but my father, with his usual kindness, excused him, saying it was not the officer's fault, but his own for having questioned him. The noise lasted till five o'clock.

The tumult was hardly over before Pétion, instead of exerting himself to stop the massacre, coldly sent his secretary to my father to reckon about money. This man was very ridiculous, and said many things which would have made us laugh at another moment; he thought my mother remained standing on his account; for since that awful scene she had continued standing, motionless, and seeing nothing that took place in the room. The municipal guard who had sacrificed his scarf at the door made my father pay for it. My aunt and I heard the générale beaten all night; my unhappy mother did not even try to sleep; we listened to her sobs.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Upcoming Release: A Day with Marie-Antoinette: An Intimate Portrait of Her Life at Versailles

A new release from Flammarion, set to be published next May! I can't wait for this one! synopsis:
This beautifully illustrated book sheds new light on the personal life of Marie Antoinette and reveals hidden aspects of her Versailles. Marie Antoinette was a mirror of her time. Never before has a queen been so passionately admired and adulated, then hunted, vilified, and defamed. From the young queen playing a shepherdess on stage, unaware of the turmoil in the capital, to France’s "martyr queen," the author demystifies the legend, unveiling the woman behind the queen, and the wife and mother behind the sovereign.By tracing her footsteps through Versailles, discovering her voice through her letters, and encountering little-known works in her private art collection, the reader gains new insight on the tragically brief life of a passionate, sensitive, dramatic, and captivating woman. Organized chronologically, with lavish new photography and a wealth of unpublished material, this is a nuanced portrait of Marie Antoinette and her Versailles.

Monday, August 25, 2014

10-Post Instagram Round-Up

I've only recently joined Instagram and one of the things I love about it is that you can find pictures of pretty much... well, anything! There's even an extensive list of Marie Antoinette related posts, which is why I'm trying out a new series of Instagram post round-ups where I will post 10 Instagram photos that catch my eye. I'm not sure if I'll be doing this weekly or just whenever the mood strikes, but for now, enjoy some of the great pictures I found this past week!

In no particular order:
  1. georgy1979: Collection of Marie Antoinette related books
  2. honeyponeymoney: Front view Versailles
  3. s.feesh: 18th century hairstyle illustration inspired by Marie Antoinette
  4. kasiacreations: Marie Antoinette illustration 
  5. lee_leng417: Marie Antoinette doll
  6. nana88440: Temple of Love from the Petit Trianon
  7. sophie_bel: Modernized Marie Antoinette illustration
  8. norawright: Fashionable Marie Antoinette illustration
  9. cha_wm: Sofia Coppola inspired Marie Antoinette illustration
  10. kasumiryo: Hand-painted Marie Antoinette bag

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A satirical print against Louis XVIII: 'The Terrible Burden.'

The above satirical print depicts Louis XVIII falling under the weight of a large double-labeled sack. The back half of the sack is labeled "the mistakes/faults of the Bourbons," while the much lighter front half is labeled "benefits of Louis XVIII."  

The print was released in May of 1815, during the 'Hundred Days' of Napoleon's return to French rule.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Illustrations from 'One Heart and Many Crowns: The Life of Empress Maria Theresa' by Brigitte Hamann

Ein Herz und viele Kronen: Das Leben der Kaiserin Maria Theresia (One Heart and Many Crowns: The Life of Empress Maria Theresa) by Brigitte Hamann is a German children's book about Maria Theresa of Austria.

The illustrations in the book are by Rolf Rettich, who has illustrated several children's books in Germany. I wanted to share some selected illustrations from the book that I have scanned, which I think have a lovely older charm to them.

The front and back of the book

A young Maria Theresa

Maria Theresa grieving her father

Maria Theresa and some of her children. Inspired by this portrait.

Maria Theresa in mourning for her husband

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bicentennial Art by Jean-Baptiste Morlet

I received a few more postcards released during the bicentennial of the French Revolution this week and knew I had to share!

These cards feature art by Jean-Baptiste Morlet. I really love the use of color in these paintings, especially the contrast between the fire and the skirts of the peasant women in the second image.

image: The Cart by Jean-Baptiste Morlet
credit: my collection

 image: The Fire at the Chateau by Jean-Baptiste Morlet
credit: my collection

image: Nobles in Prison by Jean-Baptiste Morlet
credit: my collection