Peace Bringing Back Abundance

Vigée Le Brun’s Passion for Painting

A Passion for Painting Billowing ruched fabric, pointy toes of dainty shoes visible from beneath flounced skirts hemmed in gold fringes and ornate trims. A bejeweled…

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Reception at Malmaison in 1802 François Flameng

Transitory Spaces

The beginning of one of Napoléon Bonaparte’s earliest letters to Joséphine de Beauharnais simply oozes sensuality: “Seven in the morning. I awaken full of you…the…

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The gardens at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte

Heaven Shall Be Here

In the film A Little Chaos, Alan Rickman, who plays an unlikely Louis XIV, declares, “Heaven shall be here.” He’s speaking of a ballroom he…

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In the mood for chess in The Thomas Crown Affair

How to Set a Mood

The 1968 version of The Thomas Crown Affair starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway is a mercurial mélange of masculine and feminine charisma in equal…

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Bernardaud produces the Marie-Antoinette pattern of porcelain

Dining with History

A month from Sunday, I’ll be winging my way to Paris to attend Maison & Objet, and I’m thrilled to say I’ve been invited to…

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Three children painted in the Elizabethan style.

Narratives That Illuminate Design

Narratives That Illuminate Design If you believe that design-centric coffee table books contain nothing more than visual surveys of portfolios, I am out to change…

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John, Jr., playfully tugs at one of the three strands of Jackie’s famous simulated pearl necklace

One Special Summer with Jackie O

Hegel’s caveat “history teaches us nothing” may be relevant in cultural and philosophical realities but in the design world the statement is far from succinct.…

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Jean Leon Gerome's painting Louis XIV and Moliere

We’ll Never Be Royals

Nest Nest Nest features the Alliage pattern.As I write this, I can feel the design energy draining from the Americas as the movers-and-shakers in our…

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Whistler gilded the walnut latticework forming the shelves.

The Peacock Room à la Whistler

The most recognizable painting by artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler might lead you to believe he was as Puritan as his upbringing. The fact he…

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