Anyone who follows me here knows that an addiction to large, gorgeous coffee table books is alive and well, and I have a new favorite…View More Presidential Residences in France
Tag: Louis XV
It’s no secret that the Bourbon kings are a fascination of mine, Louis XV among them.
The morning Louis XV came into the world, Cardinal de Janson sprinkled the newborn with holy water in the chamber where he was born, reports the memoirist duc de Saint-Simon in his Memoirs of Louis XIV and the Regency, and is then carried “upon the knees of the Duchess de Ventadour in the sedan chair of the King into the King’s apartments, accompanied by Maréchal de Boufflers and by the bodyguards with officers.” Before long, it was time for all the Court to see him.
This is how prolifically Saint-Simon reports on the daily activities within the palaces these monarchs inhabited, each one testaments to historic design eras. When the elder King was on the throne, it was one of the most lavish periods in design that saw a French embracing of Italian Baroque so ornate it’s a wonder people who stood still a bit too long weren’t gilded. The younger Bourbon’s reign ushered in a flourishing of the Rococo style. As the author spares almost no details, he recounts rituals down to the au petit couvert—small private dinners—Louis XIV would take in his chamber on a square table in front of a window. I can’t get enough of these details as I peruse history for literary design adventures of my own.
The Hotel de la Marine Restored
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
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
Architecture with Heart in Bordeaux
In the preface to the book Grand Bordeaux Châteaux: Inside the Fine Wine Estates of France, Philippe Chaix describes discovering Bordeaux as a bewitching act: on…View More Architecture with Heart in Bordeaux
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…View More Vigée Le Brun’s Passion for Painting
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
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.…View More One Special Summer with Jackie O
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