Inside the Square of a Love Triangle

In 1737 Charles-André Van Loo paints this picture, Taking a Break During the Hunt; and apparently its subject matter is not hunting, so he tells us himself, but rather a break, or rather Louis XV’s liaison with the Nesle sisters. The three women are probably Louise, Diana and Pauline; or Diana, Pauline and Marie-Ann; or Louise, Diana and Marie-Ann.  The difficulty is that there were really four of them, four sisters who successfully and sometimes simultaneously performed as mistresses to Louis XV. This is the first love entanglement of the young king, previously he happened to be happily married, but after eight pregnancies his wife had shut her bedroom door in his face, and it is perhaps due to his inexperience that Louis gets himself into this pickle. These are, of course, his personal problems; to an art historian the main issue is family resemblance: in the picture I see only one woman, one and  the same woman painted at three different angles; or, if we were to address the king’s dilemma from this point of aesthetic judgement, is this really infidelity when there is so much consistency?

About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
This entry was posted in Libertines, Louis XV, Marie Leszczinska. Bookmark the permalink.

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