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These days you can see at the Louvre the portrait of Lady Alston by Thomas Gainsborough. Well, I did. A disturbing experience! Because of the heavy gilded shells that surround the canvas. They distracted me: Versailles is stamped all over them, and the courtly dress, which we should expect a woman to wear on such occasion, …is missing! A dark and sinister forest? Rococo arabesques all around and of this magnitude and they are not supported by pastels? So wrong! And I almost got a stomach ulcer when a sign revealed to me that the frame had been property of Madame Pompadour, whose portrait just never come about. A-a-a! It’s… a kind of tribute to the ineffable ghostly presence of… what it could have been. Right. Jacques Derrida was right, a picture begins with the frame.

This entry was posted in Courtiers, Louvre, Madam Pompadour, Versailles. Bookmark the permalink.

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