Category Archives: Madam Pompadour


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 … Continue reading

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Cardinal Bernis on Madame de Pompadour

“The Marquise knew none of the vices of ambition, but she suffered from all the petty afflictions typical for a woman intoxicated with her own appearance; and so, she hurt unintentionally, and she did good exactly the same way; her … Continue reading

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The Qeen’s Perspective

As one of the courtiers had commented, neither they avoided each other’s company; nor did they seek it. Like everyone else in the XVIII century Marie and Louis married young. Many at Versailles thought it to be an unequal match. … Continue reading

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Versailles Society Theater

Versailles society theater is commonly associated with the papier-mâché theater of Marie-Antoinette; but to give credit where it is due, I must say that the Queen re-cycled the ideas of Madame de Pompadour, all be it with the lesser political effect. … Continue reading

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Cupid Sharpening His Bow with Hercules’ Mace: Neoclassicism at Little Trianon

Beside the Anglo-Chinese gardens and the Louis XVI- style furniture, what is so neoclassical about Little Trianon? This is a kind of question to ask at an oral examination  if you want to fail a student. There he goes, shuffling … Continue reading

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“This painter,” writes Diderot about François Boucher, “only picks up a brush to show me tits and ass. It’s not that I don’t like to see them, I just don’t like it when they are shown to me.” Today, of … Continue reading

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Hoping to receive a reward, he reports a non-existent conspiracy against Madam Pompadour. Unfortunately the police takes him too seriously, for his story is complete with a real booby-trap and explosives; and so when nothing is uncovered behind  his elaborate … Continue reading

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Casanova, Lottery and the Taking of the Bastille

Casanova’s reputation as a lover has by far surpassed his ability as a businessman. Yet the famous Venetian knew how to combine his pleasure with business. And his main business in mid-XVIII century Paris was lottery. In 1757 Madame Pompadour had … Continue reading

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Taking a Bath with Madame Montespan, Versailles Renaissance at the Turn of the Century

The turn of the century. Not this century, the last one. The interest in Versailles was provoked by the feeling of nostalgia radiating from the king of the Parisian dandies, Robert Montesquiou. This is the beginning of the aesthetic movement … Continue reading

Posted in Chateau Versailles, Court, Courtiers, d'Artagnan, Duels, Estate of Marie-Antoinette, Gardens and Park, Homosexuality at Versailles, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Madam Pompadour, Madame de Montespan, Madame Pompadour, Marie-Antoinette, Versailles Renaissance | Leave a comment

Versailles Taxi

Among the unexpected expenses on their Versailles Tour, Leopold Mozart lists les chaises-à-porteurs; these portable chairs, or rather the carried chairs, turned out to be unavoidable due to the inclement weather: walking from the hotel to the palace would simply ruin … Continue reading

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