|Sewing Project Inspired by a visit back to 1779|
In my last posting, I made a slight reference to one of my recent trips back through time to Marie Antoinette's court at Versailles. So...wouldn't you like to hear more about this particular trip?
When I first started taking these little jaunts my biggest bit of culture shock involved the state of royal sanitation. But, I'm not sure you really want the down-and-dirty on the suspicious puddles that kept turning up in unexpected corners of the palace's wood parquet floors. Let's just leave it that I manage to avoid tripping or slipping in the you-know-what and go on from there, OK?
In this particular case, I had elected a visit back to 1779, nine years after Antonia first arrived at court as a gentle, demur, Austrian archduchess. It's hard not to feel for a teenaged girl in her circumstances, even one with that bucks and standing of the entire Hapsburg empire behind her, isn't it?
Not being well-connected at court, and also not wanting to put in the way-beyond dawn to dusk travail of servitude, my Period Pilots guide recommended that I adopt the persona of an artist. After all if Anne Vallayer-Coster could make it, why not me? I was please to find that the very accessible public galleries at the palace made it easy to establish myself at a little table among the fruit sellers, ribbon-merchants and other hawkers. I must admit, though, that I sadly missed having access to a digital camera during my time in the galleries. And oh, what I could have done with Photoshop and a few jpeg's to capture the joi-de-vivre and bustle of the thousands of vendors and visitors that thronged that incredibly accessible royal community. I mean...Mademoiselle Vallayer-Coster's Still Life with Ham would have been nothing to what I could have come up with.
I like to say that one of my little peintures caused la Reine to gasp in excitement and send off a billet to one of her Buds at the Royal Académie, but no such luck. Still, I got a chance to see her more than once as she promenaded by on her way to visit her little Mousseline.
And you can just bet what this sewist was doing... That's right, checking out Madame Deficit's frocks.
To Be Continued..
Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution