In his foreword to The French Royal Wardrobe: The Hotel de la Marine Restored, Philippe Bélaval, the President of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, illustrates how painstaking…View More The Hotel de la Marine Restored
Tag: Louis XIV
The aesthetic legacy of this monarch, known as the Sun King, is Louis XIV style. He just happens to be one of my favorite tastemakers throughout history to include in my literary design encounters, details about his life so accessible thanks to a three-volume set of beautifully ragged books I own titled Memoirs of Louis XIV and the Regency.
The books, written by another Louis—the duc de Saint-Simon, who is known as one of the world’s great memoirists—are filled with remarkable details about the actions and habits of the court during Louis XIV’s time, the last volume covering the years when Louis XV—the Sun King’s great grandson—was doted upon as a Prince of the blood.
The spine of Volume II cracks angrily when I open it to the chapter in which Saint-Simon describes the birth of the baby Prince: “On Saturday, the 15th of February, the King was waked up [sic] at seven o’clock in the morning, an hour earlier than usual, because Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne was in the pains of labor. He dressed himself diligently in order to go to her. She did not keep him waiting long. At three minutes and three seconds after eight o’clock, she brought into the world a Duc d’Anjou, who is the King Louise XV, at present reigning, which caused a great joy.” I relish having access to such material to explore in my own quirky way on The Modern Salonière.
An Invitation to Vaux-le-Vicomte
In 1641, the 26-year old parliamentarian Nicolas Fouquet, who was then the Master of Requests at the Parlement of Paris, acquired the viscounty of Vaux…View More An Invitation to Vaux-le-Vicomte
Libraries Are My Temples
This essay about the legacy of Cardinal Mazarin, which includes several libraries, is included in my book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in…View More Libraries Are My Temples
The Tapestry of History
In just a few hours, the modern ideal of a fairy tale wedding will take place at Windsor Castle. A trip I took to the…View More The Tapestry of History
The Fabric of Design
In their introduction to The Decoration of Houses, Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman, Jr., write, “In the middle ages, when warfare and brigandage shaped the…View More The Fabric of Design
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…View More Heaven Shall Be Here
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…View More Dining with History
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…View More We’ll Never Be Royals
Cinderella in the South of France
Cinderella in the South of France “From morning until night, Cinderella worked very hard. She carried water, got the fire going, cooked, cleaned, and washed.…View More Cinderella in the South of France
Ally Coulter and the Opulent Salon
Ally Coulter’s grand salon on the first floor of the Holiday House NYC took my breath away the minute I entered the room. It was…View More Ally Coulter and the Opulent Salon