Upon Louis XV's death, a stunned Marie Antoinette and now Louis XVI stood in their inner apartments of Versailles. Famously, they asked God to guide them because of the disadvantage of their youth. Of course, a court does not wait for prayers or thought; there was proper etiquette to be carried out right away.
The Comtesse de Noailles, or as Antoinette referred to, Madame Etiquette, was the first to approach the dismayed couple with instructions on what to do next. As etiquette demanded, they were to make their way to the Grand Salon. Once their they had to receive visits from those royal princes who had to pay homage to the new King and Queen.
Naturally, performing such a task was tough at that time. To those first in line, Marie Antoinette was introduced as the new Queen of France leaning weakly upon her husband with a handkerchief constantly up to her eyes and nose.
That evening the court left for Choisy, and a carriage was called for the new King, his Queen, his siblings and his sister in law, the comtesse d'Artois. No one was older than twenty in that carriage. Naturally, though grieving, and full of anticipation of what might happen next, the party all succumbed to laughter after the comtesse d'Artois mispronounced a word, striking a funny bone in everyone.
I am going to try a new format. Decorative arts are easy to love or hate, but let's try a comparison. Which do you prefer and why? The attention to detail was quite extraordinary in 18th century furniture.
I posted close up images so you could see the details better! Now, which piece do you prefer and why? What would you have in your château??
Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené, Louis-François Chatard, Armchair . French, 1788, walnut, gold, cotton twill, silk. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Georges Jacob, (upholstery style of: Philippe de Lasalle, Armchair, French. 1780-85,
Carved and gilded walnut, covered in embroidered silk-satin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"For five months, not a farmer has made his appearance in the markets of this town. Such a circumstance was never known before, although from time to time, high prices have prevailed to a considerable extent. On the contrary, the markets were always well supplied in proportion to the high price of grain."
Letter of the municipal assembly of Louviers, August 1789 "Archives Nationales," D. xxix I.