Monday, January 14, 2019

Music Monday: Marie-Antoinette Song from Kaiser! König! Karl!

Music Monday: a day for contemporary music, soundtracks and other tunes related to Marie Antoinette.


Kaiser! König! Karl! is a German children's television program, akin to the BBC's Horrible Histories, which approaches history through a fun lens ideal for capturing the attention of children. Like Horrible Histories, Kaiser! König! Karl! includes song sketches about various events and people. One such song is the simply titled 'Marie-Antoinette Song,' featuring--you guessed it--the queen of France herself. It's a silly, upbeat song with some pretty hilarious choreography (I can't get enough of the "Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Marie-Antoinette" guy, myself) that is definitely worth a listen. Enjoy!


Museum Sunday: A spinning top owned by Louis Charles, son of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI

Museum Sunday: a day for highlighting objects, books, and other items from the collections and lives of Marie Antoinette and her contemporaries.



Louis Charles de France--or Louis XVII--played with this painted wooden spinning top while he and his family were imprisoned in the tower of the Temple in Paris. It was given to Louis Charles by Pauline de Tourzel, the daughter of the governess to the royal children of France, at some point before she and her mother were separated from the family. It was one of several toys that Louis Charles had the option of playing with during his captivity, at least until he was shut up in a solitary cell with little comforts. The top was given to Marie-Thérèse Charlotte after her brother's death and she, in turn, gave it back to Pauline when she was finally allowed to visit the young princess in the Temple. The top remains in a private collection today.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

What They Said Saturday: A quote from 'Versailles: A Novel' by Kathryn Davis


[credit: © RMN (Musée du Louvre) /Michèle Bellot]

"He cut my hair, I stepped on his foot.

When you look up, clouds; when you look down, the same. Blue sky and clouds, suddenly, water. Suddenly against the blue sky a spray of jewels.

Pardon, monsieur, I said. I did not mean to do it."

--Kathryn Davis, Versailles: A Novel 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Film Friday: A screenshot from Marie Antoinette (1938)

Film Friday: a day for sharing movie stills, production art, film analysis and anything film related!


A screenshot from Marie Antoinette (1938); from the scene where the newly-coined dauphine Marie Antoinette sits with her husband on their wedding night.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Book Thursday: Four French covers for 'Destin de Reine' by Victoria Holt

Book Thursday: a day for anything and everything books; reviews, highlights, and more.


One of my little hobbies is collecting images of book covers, and historical fiction novels from the 50s-60s are a treasure trove of interesting covers Destin de Reine is the French translation of The Queen's Confession: The Story of Marie Antoinette, a first person historical novel written by Eleanor Hibbert and published under her Victoria Holt pseudonym. When comparing these four covers, it's easy to see which reading demographic each edition was targeting--from historical romance to the bodice ripper audience. 

Which of these 4 is your favorite?





Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Portrait Wednesday: Maria Theresa of Savoy by Giuseppe Duprà, circa 1762

Portrait Wednesday: a day for sharing portraits of Marie Antoinette and her contemporaries.


This lovely royal portrait by Giuseppe Duprà is a depiction of a young Maria Theresa of Savoy, better known as the comtesse d'Artois, circa 1762. This portrait dates to about 10 years before she was sent to France to become the bride of the comte d'Artois. 

Giuseppe Duprà, for his part, completed numerous paintings of royal families, with a heavy emphasis on the Savoyard princesses. Seven of these portraits still hang today in the Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi, or the one of the former hunting lodges of the royal house of Savoy. 

A closer look at the portrait reveals a wealth of details signifying the social status of the young girl who was, after all, a princess. Her gown of deep green features rich white or silver embroidery, and is covered with a delicate lace apron and flouncing sleeves. Behind her, a rich blue cloak can be seen with peaks of ermine, one of the foremost types of furs used to signify someone's wealth and status. Her pose is simple and dignified, and most definitely reminiscent of adult portraits of royal and upper-class women in this same era.

About 10 years after this portrait was completed, the Austrian ambassador comte de Mercy would write of the princess--now comtesse d'Artois: "...as for the comtesse d’Artois, she does not speak, seems interested in nothing, and her look of shyness and indifference is highly unpopular here. [Marie Antoinette] is very kind to her."

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Inspired Tuesday: À La Rose from Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Inspired Tuesday: a day to share anything and everything inspired by Marie Antoinette and her world.

[image: Fragrantica]

Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a fragrance house founded in 2009 under the collaboration of the perfurmer Francis Kurkdjian and Marc Chaya, who is the co-founder and current president of Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

À la rose was inspired by the famous portrait of Marie Antoinette by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun which depicts the queen holding a single rose, along with Marie Antoinette's known love of roses at her Petit Trianon gardens.

À la rose's note profile features two unique rose scents: Damascena rose from Bulgaria and  Centifolia rose from Grasse, which give the perfume an interesting soft, light rose that is quite different from typical strong rose perfumes. The perfume's top notes are a touch of bergamot and orange, followed by the middle rose notes (other middle notes include violet and magnolia) with some woody cedar musky accord at the base.

The end result of this floral concoction is a rose perfume that is strikingly soft, clean, and gentle without being too overpowering or too weak.  

Since it's original release as an eau de parfum, Maison Francis Kurkdjian has expanded the À la rose line to many different scented products, including: scented body cream, body oil, scented hair mist, shower cream, and hand cream.

If you'd like to test it out without splurging on a full bottle, small samples are available through Lucky Scent.