August 29, 2008
August 28, 2008
How many times when you were younger did you use the excuse 'Oh I can't go with you tonight because my mom wants me home at __o'clock' to get out of something you didn't want to do???? This is by far my favorite piece of advice from Maria Theresa!
"Answer everyone pleasantly, with grace and dignity: you can if you want to.
You must also learn how to say no. In my states and in the Empire, you cannot refuse to accept pleas, but you will give them all to Stahremberg and will tell everyone to speak to him...; tell everyone that you will send their requests to Vienna, since there is nothing more you can do.
From Strasbourg on, you will accept nothing without first consulting M. or Mme de Noailles, and you will send them all those who talk about their business to you, telling them pleasantly that since you are a foreigner yourself, you cannot undertake to recommend anyone to the King. If you wish, you can add, to make your point more strongly, 'the Empress, my mother, has forbidden me to take on any recommendation.'"
August 27, 2008
duc de Berry
dauphin of France
King of France and Navarre
Louis the beneficent
Restorer of French liberty
King of the French
Louis the Traitor
Louis the last
All these titles were given to Louis within 39 brief years of his life! Of course Marie had her fare share of titles as well!
August 26, 2008
Well that is the popular style, sentimental. If you want to be painted, you want to chose an artist who is at the height of fashion and popularity. And preferably someone who will make you look angelic, fresh, romantic and dare I say, human?
You know, the type of portraits where people are weeping over their dead pets.
"My poor beloved hamster is gone!"
"Oh my god my guppy is dead!"
Greuze was rather successful by employing this style and by 1777 he was selling works at auction for incredible amounts of money! A modern day Kinkade? Pshht. Better!
In fact, his sweet and endearing painting titled Little Girl Holding a Dog sold at auction for 7,200 livres in 1777. Later in 1802 it sold for 6720 pounds to Lord Dudley. The sentimental value was due to the dog, the dog was dead!
August 25, 2008
"Walking, which in London is so pleasant and clean that ladies do it every day, is here a toil and a fatigue to a man and an impossibility to a well-dressed lady. Paris is an ineligible residence for persons who cannot afford to keep a coach, a convenience which is as dear as at London."
August 23, 2008
August 21, 2008
August 20, 2008
As interesting as the fashions of the day were themselves, names of styles, colors and details were just as fascinating.
Back of a flea, Belly of a flea, Thigh of a flea (darker brownish), Blushing flea (pinkish tones) and Angry flea.
“...wearing a dress of withheld sighs (split with an underskirt), adorned with superfluous regrets (a gathered looped band of material), with, in the middle, some perfect naivety (knots of lace); it was garnished with indiscreet complaints (appliqué silk flowers) and ribbons of marked attention (wide bows); her shoes were hair-of the-Queen color (ash blonde), embroidered with diamonds in perfidious attack (a ray-like design) with the come-hithers (embroidery on the back of the heels) in emeralds."
August 19, 2008
So daydreaming has been a great hobby of mine ever since I moved. I day dream of all the places I wish I could be in, or at least own some property in!
If I am not staring out the front window of my canal-side apartment in Amsterdam while Heather is making martini's and explaining what Georgiana's favorite drink was, I might be walking down a cobble road in Bath. (and if I were in any of these places I would probably take the time to relax and people watch (because that is oh-so entertaining!)
I have decided that Paris circa 1780 would be an ideal situation for an avid people-watcher. I found a rich description of a typical day that might pass by in eighteenth-century Paris by Oliver Bernier:
"At seven in the morning the gardeners drove their carts away.
At nine you saw the barbers, hairdressers, coachmen and cafe waiters running about.
At twelve lawyers and notaries appeared on their way to the Palace of Justice.
At two carriages rumbled through the streets, taking people to dinner.
At five-thirty there was a deafening noise as everyone rushed to the theatre.
At nightfall the working men made their way back to the faubourgs where they lived.
At nine people were coming out of the theatres and driving here and there. The prostitutes came out.
After midnight there was the noise of carriages going home.
At one you heard the farmers bring their produce to market.
At two the turgotines, those new, narrow, fast stagecoaches named after the Turgot, the Controller General of Finances, rushed through the streets on their way out of the city.
At six the bakers came in from Gonesse, bringing in their bread, and as the day started again the street vendors came out, joined now by a new comer, the lottery salesman, whose tickets were avidly sought for."
August 16, 2008
"Much as I wish you to pray and read good books, however, you must always conform to French customs and never try to introduce anything new. You must not do anything unusual, nor cite our customs, nor ask that they be imitated; on the contrary, you must absolutely lend yourself to what the Court is accustomed to doing."
MARIA THERESA, 21 APRIL 1770
August 14, 2008
|Anonymous, French, detail of Two Costume Designs or Portrait Types. 1785-1790, Pen and black ink, graphite, gouache. Metropolitan Museum of Art.|
"It [gown] was made of blue satin, garnished with marten fur, embroidered with gold, adorned with diamonds, each diamond shining in the center of a silver star underlined by gold spangles, and with this dress, further enriched by lace sleeves, the duchesse wore her hair curled and powdered in a coiffure over three feet high which displayed a whole garden with a brook (made of mirror), a little jeweled clockwork windmill spinning away, flowers and grass.”
August 13, 2008
"Courage, Gallantry, Beauty, Honor: the standards of the eighteenth century always remained in view- through war, revolution, evolution, intrigue, and dishonesty- with etiquette and order the people's companion and guide.
Everything was a form of exultation and triumph...trumpets, bugles, fanfares, and banners...splendid architecture... escutcheons and trophies on palace walls and on rooftops...graceful interiors filled with objects designed to be as useful and as beautiful as the craftsman could make them...spreading gardens scented with the fresh smells of nature before petrol and pollution...fountains like huge jets of crystal...barges floating down canals beneath the stars, with musicians serenading pretty women... the language of the streets, the language of scholars.
Everything was emerging and growing-the whisper and murmur of change were everywhere. Villages were becoming towns, towns were becoming cities, cities were dominating nations. The eighteenth-century woman in Europe and America was born into a world of opening doors, of opportunity. She came forward, walking quite naturally into the vista of promise that lay before her, translating ambition into opportunity...and reality."
August 12, 2008
"They find her full of attractions....but...it is easier to win popularity than to retain it over time....Her Royal Highness sometimes forgets herself in the way she sits at her meals or at Cavagnol (a card game). Often her clothes are untidied by the little amusements of the day."
"Two of her curls had come unpinned...and her cloak...was flung half on and half off. Every creature turned back to star at her; she had a look of innocence and artlessness that made me quite sorry that she should be so foolishly negligent of her person."FANNY BURNEY
August 09, 2008
“This twenty-first of April, day of your departure. –When you wake up, you will immediately upon arising go through your morning prayers on your knees and read some religious text, even if it is only for six or seven minutes without concerning yourself about anything else or speaking to anyone. All depends on the right beginning for the day and the intention with which you begin it, for it may change even indifferent actions into good, even praiseworthy ones. You must be very strict about this for it depends on you alone and your temporal and spiritual happiness may depend upon it.”
August 08, 2008
|Louise Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, The Duchess de Polignac. 1783, oil on canvas. The National Trust Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, UK.|
A year after Marie Antoinette and the Princesse Lamballe teamed up, the comtesse de Polignac enters the picture. She was born in Paris in 1749. Her father was Comte Gabriel Polastron, who had been a member of the household of Marie Antoinette's father-in-law, Louis XVI’s father, the late Dauphine Louis. and her mother was Jeanne Charlotte Hérault, daughter of Rene Hérault who had served on the privy counsel. Their family was more impoverished than wealthy, and had been that way for decades.
|Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun, Duchesse de Polignac. 1787, Pastel.|
Yolande was introduced at Versailles in September of 1775. Madame Campan recalled that Marie Antoinette was instantly fascinated with her and couldn’t figure out why she hadn’t seen the girl at court before. At learning she was not permitted to attend royal weddings due to her wealth, Marie intended to counteract, “the injustice of wealth.”
|Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun, Yolande Polignac. 1782, oil on canvas. Wadsworth Atheneum.|
She expressed her gratitude for all Marie Antoinette wanted to bestow on her as a favorite but let M.A. know she feared the cost of living at Versailles. Marie consulted Louis XVI about it, and how much she wanted her friend to live near them. The comtesse, later the duchesse, was given her own apartments at Versailles at the top of a marble staircase. She became a favorite, and the Queen would often run to her drawing room to take a needed break from life, or merely gossip.
Little Po is portrayed by writers in two ways, either as an enormous cause of the revolution, scheming to improve her own status and having utter disregard for the state of the country, or she as almost a total pawn a midst needy, greedy and ambitious relatives and associates. Some claimed there had never been a favorite at the court who was less greedy or egotistical. Madame Campan noted that she never saw the duchesse wear diamonds, she could pull off the same effect with a flower in her hair, and that her personality left her free from jealousy and always pleased. While others associated her with the Trianon entertainments described as rude as scandalous orgies!
The Duke de Polignac was secured a job in 1780 as directeur-général des postes and Little Po herself was given the position of gouvernante des Enfants de France. Her, lover, the comte de Vaudreuil also enjoyed living off the benefits of her post, comfortably by the late 1770’s. The Polignacs received a dowrey for their daughter of 800,000 livres, 400,000 livres to pay off various family debts and had won 10,000 in the lottery on pure luck!
August 07, 2008
Anyway! So I came across these and had to share. Jewellery based on the gems worn by Mrs. Graham in her portrait in the National Galleries of Scotland. They are beautifully made, and I adore the gold detail around the garnet- and I usually don’t care for yellow gold! This just works. I included a close up so you can see the detail in the portrait, they are quite close! I will probably be posting more historical pieces like these in the future!
August 06, 2008
After the wedding décor was taken down and married life began, husband and wife were happy as could be. But...of course! Of course there were little problems here and there. Louis XVI did not always agree with her fashion sense and he did not agree with some of her hair styles either.
He also had little tendencies that bothered Marie. One was his over eating at meals! And you know she hinted to it and let him know, because that is what ladies do! But one day Louis had terrible indigestion and Marie, ‘had all the dishes containing pastry removed from his table and peremptorily forbade any more pastry to be served until further notice.’
August 05, 2008
August 04, 2008
France suffered a harsh winter in 1775. When the New Year began there was plenty of snow covering the streets and gardens at
The fluffy bed of snow did provide some pleasures, however. There was enough on the ground for sleigh-riding, and this was a fun tradition in
“There is so great a quantity of snow here that nothing like it has been seen for years; so we go in sleighs as we used to do in
Marie’s sleigh was decorated with feathers and little bells that jingled with the horses movements through the park at
“We were driving yesterday, and to-day there is a great “course” in
; but as they have never yet seen a Queen take part in one, they would invent stories, and I would rather give up the pleasure than be bothered by more stories.” Paris
MARIE ANTOINETTE, VERSAILLES 14 JANUARY 1776
Well she had right to worry about stories because it was not long before women of many different classes were taking masked sleigh-rides through
It could have been the Queen!
Did you see her!
Was that the Queen?
Who was she with!!
And a general idea that every sleigh that went by contained (or could have contained) the Queen incognito made fuel for troublesome stories of frivolity and fault.
It was not long after this Marie stopped going out on sleigh-rides.
August 03, 2008
Fashionable ladies from the past were, clearly, known to grace the tracks! In 1779, in
In 1776 a horse track was built in
Well he was just not a fan of races!
"I went to the first race-day on horse back; and I took great care to keep in the crowd at some distance from the Queen's pavilion, into which all the young men entered, booted and en chenille [riding dress]. In the evening the Queen, who had perceived me, asked me, while at play, why I did not come up into her pavilion at the races. I answered, loudly enough to be heard by the many feather-pates present, that the reason I had not come was that I was in riding boots and dress and that I had never been accustomed to imagine one could appear before the Queen in such attire."
He was just as miserable on the second race-day, appalled at the Queen and Madame Elisabeth being there and at the Comte d'Artois (right) who was running about placing enormous bets and whining about how sick he was of always being cheated at both races and cards.
But how devoted were our fashionable ladies?
“Of Balls at the Opera, where the Queen stayed all night, came back to Versailles at half-past six in the morning and went off again at ten to the races.”
Well, I am off to the races now, (with a bit more than 3 ½ hours of sleep!)
August 02, 2008
August 01, 2008
The Duke asked the little girl if she would like to be the consort of the Prince Lamballe and she replied ‘Yes, I am very fond of music!’ ‘No, my dear, I mean would you have any objection to become his wife?’ Being a carefree child she cheerfully replied ‘No, nor any other person’s!’
Well her story is a well known one beginning with friendship with the Queen and ending in tragedy. And after gathering my 'Femme' resources I decided I cannot put her whole story here. So I am going to start with the early years!
When she was but 17 she was to marry the Prince de Lamballe. The wedding was set for Janurary 17, 1767. The Prince was so excited to see his future wife, that he rode out to where she was staying before the ceremony, Montereau, and introduced himself as a page or something of that nature. He offered her a bouquet in the name of the Prince, and all the while could hardly contain his excitement. For she far exceeded the expectations he had of her, she had clear blue eyes and golden blond hair, a darling figure and she was funny and spontaneous. The two hit it off, and need not mention the puppy love surprise she held when she saw her page at the alter.
They celebrated for 10 days after the wedding and the two were indeed happy. Not long after however, the Prince fell into wild ways. Infact, his father knew of his 'wild' behavior before the marriage and hoped the Princess would straighten him out. Well she did at first but he slipped! He was in need of money and sold his wifes diamonds (wedding diamonds!) and then he left! His father found him soon after, but he was not himself. He was dying.
“He [the Prince] soon became prey of every refinement upon dissipation and studied debauchery, til at length his sufferings made his life a burden, and he died in the most excruciating agonies both of mind and body, in the arms of a disconsolate wife.”
Now according to her memoir's, she became close friends with her sister-on-law Louise-Marie de Bourbon Penthièvre. Louise-Marie’s husband, the, dare I say sleezy, Duc De Chartres made it known to Princess Lamballe that he wanted her. The young princess rejected his advances, and in retaliation for being humiliated, the Duc de Chartres allegedly re-exposed or rather encouraged the Prince de Lamballe to a life of debauchery.
16 months after their wedding the Prince died of venereal disease. At the impressionable and emotional age of 18 years old the Princess was a widow, completely stressed out, heart broke, and just crushed. Things were not going right and that is the opening to the pathetic story of the Princess de Lamballe
MarieAntoinetteGossip@gmail.com (Lauren) or
Okay back to the gossip ..... *waves fan*