You Better Sit Down…

Those of you who have already visited the Little Trianon probably remember these. For sure, they are remarkable. Carved out of one solid piece of oak, this chair could carry the weight of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette in every conceivable position without a squeak. Not that they’ve ever been used like that! I am only saying this to hint at the structural solidity of what is in front of us; but a visitor at the Domain of the Queen may ask her guide a provocative question, “What is this robust contraption doing in the house of our delicate heroine?” Hm, it is not like the curator of the Chateau is going to lie to us, the chairs did belong to the Queen; but your guess is right, their provenance is not Versailles, but Rambouillet — what we see is lawn furniture; perhaps Marie-Antoinette used it to milk some domesticated mammals, which would certainly explain the goat motif at the bottom; or more likely she sat in one to watch someone else milk them for her. Regardless, the refined XVIII century taste would certainly not allow a chunk of oak, no matter how skillfully carved, inside the Queen’s primary residence; but since most of us are gullible enough, the transgressions of the curator pass unnoticed. I am afraid we do not live in the days of subtleties, besides there is simply not enough furniture for every palace.

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.
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