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
Tag: Royal Courtiers
One of my favorite group of fictive characters for my literary design or literary travel adventures is the royal courtiers of France.
I love to place them in room settings I’ve seen that make me think they would feel right at home, as was the case with Ally Coulter’s salon at Holiday House NYC in 2014. I immediately thought how Catherine de Vivonne, or Marquise Rambouillet, would have taken to the space—her Chambre Bleue salon still regarded as one of the most successful ones in French history.
For this literary design adventure, I speak about Rambouillet’s talents as a designer and an interior architect—she would inspire generations of French architects—and note the design of her famous bedroom in which her salons were held—the blue velvet wall panels framed in gold and silver. I set the scene in Coulter’s room with “She was a quintessential entertainer and she hated the cold, so I can see her now, covered in the sumptuous throw on one of the Fendi Casa sofas, enjoying the fire while one of her most musically inclined habitués, Angélique Paulet, sang and played the piano.” How does the evening progress?
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…View More Transitory Spaces
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
The Built Legacy of Henry VIII
The 2016 Academy Awards are handed out this coming Sunday so I’m celebrating a film that showcases the built legacy of Henry VIII to delve back into…View More The Built Legacy of Henry VIII
Renovating During the Tudor Era
Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. Looking back to the Tudor Era from this great distance, it’s easy to see how barbaric a sport jousting was.…View More Renovating During the Tudor Era
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
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…View More Narratives That Illuminate Design
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
Furnishing Pastimes of Henry VIII
As I mentioned in my last Improvateur article presenting a brief history of Hampton Court Palace, I launched into a furnishings fantasy when I heard…View More Furnishing Pastimes of Henry VIII