Some Traces of DuBarry (Versailles and Paris).


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The Louvre had recently opened a new department of XVII and XVIII century French furniture. One of the remarkable artifacts you can see there is this wax model of Madame Du Barry’s bed. I find it very late XVIII century — a little infantile, but not in bad taste.

There was also a fascinating porcelain piece I had noticed at the museum of Sèvre, a small figurine of Jeanne. It was probably meant as a souvenir for a member of her “clan –” she had a few loyal friends; one of them the Governor of Paris, Cossé-Brissac, murdered and then beheaded in the streets of Versailles in the course of the events of 1792 — that relationship wasn’t Platonic, this must be why the thugs threw his head into her garden. Otherwise, it could be a warning — a number of wounded royalists were hiding at her estate at Louvecienes.

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Of course, the porcelain nick-nacks of this type are of a much earlier date — roughly early 1770’s when Jeanne could be seen strolling among the green houses of the Little Trianon: Louis XV was known to lavish many such presents upon her — a limited edition for sure, and it makes you wonder how many of these were in circulation. The other question the statuette raises is about Jeanne’s reading list. We know that by the late XVIII century standards, it was light — the Versailles Central Library keeps some of those books, mostly poetry. I think it’s peculiar how little these facts and artifacts correspond to the images generated by Duke Choiseul and recycled by Sofia Coppola.

2011-11-26 16.14.31

 

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