Jokes like that are illegal, but someone brought here a ladder and risked a hefty fine to tell me to turn left; so, I did and then continued to the end of the street where I saw an antique store whose window stylistically reminded the above sign.
The hand-written inscription underneath the picture informed me that behind the grill was an anonymous XVIII century portrait. I bent my head to the left then to the right, squatted and stared for a while at the asymmetrical face of the woman who has been dead for some three centuries — this circumstance, of course, made her look forever beautiful.
How could someone who makes a living as an antiquarian not recognize in this face the progeny of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, the daughter of Duke of Orleans, the most debauched woman of the Regency — Marie Louise Elizabeth the Duchess du Berry, nick-named Joufflotte, the Plump one? She also liked to be called Mademoiselle, as well as the Venus of the Luxembourg Palace. The princess was known to choose her lovers among her domestics. She died in 1719 at the age of 24 after giving a still birth to a girl; the father happened to be one of the guards.