Category Archives: Louis XVII

March, Ben Franklin Meets Louis XVI

22 March 1778, it was cold and Benjamin Franklin was dressed in a brown velvet outfit but had neither a wig nor sword about him as he entered the Crystal Gallery where the court, ambassadors and all the twenty Americans … Continue reading

Posted in American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin at Versailles, Court, Courtiers, Louis XVII, Versailles | 3 Comments

Women’s Fashions under the Influence of Guillotine

This portrait of Madame Récamier is all about the influence of guillotine on women’s fashions. Juliette is barefoot in a nightgown-like dress. Most art historians would not venture past the references to the classical attire.  Yet I ought to remind … Continue reading

Posted in French Revolution, Louis XVII | 2 Comments

The Dog of Marie-Antoinette

Ugly little thing, isn’t it? But according to Stefan Zweig Coco was there till the end. This is the pet Marie-Antoinette, her son and daughter kept during their captivity in the Temple. Where is the dog Fersen bought for the Queen, … Continue reading

Posted in Axel de Fersen, Louis XVII, Marie-Antoinette | 2 Comments

Kucharski, the Heroic Painter of Marie-Antoinette

I don’t know if Alexander Kucharski had left us the best portrait of Marie-Antoinette or if it is the portrait’s provenance that is playing tricks with my imagination. Suppose he just had an unfinished portrait, and then came up with … Continue reading

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Marquis de La Fayette, the Porn Hero of the French Revolution

  The role of La Fayette in the French Revolution is very ambiguous. At the General Estates he belongs to the faction of Philippe Egalité and his part in making Louis XVI sign the Bill of Rights and the Abolition … Continue reading

Posted in Chateau Versailles, French Revolution, Louis XVII, Marie-Antoinette, Marquis de Lafayette, Phillip d'Orleans | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Pubic Hair of Marie-Antoinette

Before Samosa’s boys have left for the Bay of Pigs, he had asked them for a hair out of Fidel’s beard. By the hair of my chinny-chin-chin, the beard is an ancient phallic symbol! And so, all Samosa got was the Sandinista … Continue reading

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Magic Lantern

This little box I saw at Musee Labinet is a candy box, the kind where you keep your tic-tac or mint or whatever else you-suck-upon candy. The museum’s catalogue says that they hesitate to offer us any dates for this box. Intriguing! Should we … Continue reading

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The Scars I Had Received In My Childhood Grew Up With Me: the Royal Children

“It seems to me that some changes are due in our park,” writes Louis XIV to his architect, Mansart, “the subject matter is too serious, we have to rejuvenate it… add something of  childhood here.” Versailles was never a placed for … Continue reading

Posted in Chateau Versailles, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Louis XVII, Madame Maintenon, Marie-Antoinette, Nicolas Fouquet | Leave a comment

The Lost King

My memories of Louis XVII date back to the epic encounter described by Mark Twain: Huck Finn gets to travel in the pretender’s company down Mississippi.  In the Age of Romanticism this French boy was considered lost in spite of all … Continue reading

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