July 29, 2014

18th Century Dog Houses

The Metropolitan Museum's Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts. Photo: Carlton Hobbs LLC

If you visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Wrightsman Galleries, look for a little 18th century dog house on display.  The exterior of the dog house is covered in blue velvet and architectural elements frame the house, painted in gold.  The interior is lined with striped silk and has, of course, a comfortable velvet pillow bed for the lucky royal pup.  This decorative little house was made for royal dogs, and it is stamped with the mark of Marie Antoinette's royal furniture maker!

Dog kennel Claude I Sené (1724–1792, master 1743), ca. 1775–80, Gilded beech and pine; silk and velvet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This stamp reads GARDE MEUBLE DE LA REINE [mark of the Garde Meuble de la Reine Marie-Antoinette]

Etienne Nauroy, Pair of Louis XV Dog Kennels. 1765, Gilt wood. Wrightsman Collection, image via Sotheby's.

Another example of an 18th century dog house is this pair from the mid 18th-century. They have little curtains tucked inside and are also lined with silk.  The tops of these are fitted with a matching pillow, a perfect low stool for a foot rest! Comfort for both dog and master.

Etienne Nauroy, Pair of Louis XV Dog Kennels (Detail). 1765, Gilt wood. Wrightsman Collection, image via Sotheby's.

The tops of these are fitted with a matching pillow which makes a perfect low stool for a foot rest! Comfort for both dog and master.

Dog's Sedan Chair, Louis XV style. 1765, Gilt wood, velvet and brass. Wrightsman Collection, image via Sotheby's.
And here is something a little different. This is a sedan chair for a dog! Have you ever seen such a thing?

This interesting object was made in the mid-18th century. It is gilt and covered in red velvet. The decorative brass studs create little heart designs, and the overall shape is that of a pagoda.  In this case, the well loved 18th century puppy will travel in comfort, a plush velvet cushion lines the inside of the chair. 

The top has features, I assume to add flair as the dog is traveling around.  Can't you picture them bobbing and fluttering in the movement?  Also, notice along the bottom of the chair are figures of little dogs (so you know just who belongs in it!)


July 22, 2014

Marie Antoinette's Boudoir at Fontainebleau

Jules-Marc-Antoine Frappaz, Marie Antoinette's Boudoir. 1876, oil on canvas. Musée national du Château de Fontainebleau.  

Here are some modern photos that capture this room.

Photo by www.louvrepourtous.fr

Photo by www.louvrepourtous.fr 
Gaillarde Raphaël, Château de Fontainebleau : boudoir de la Reine. Photograph. Permalink 

July 17, 2014

Madame du Barry, a known beauty

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Portrait of the Comtesse Du Barry. [1771] ? oil on canvas.

"All the portraits and documents agree in giving Du Barry the rarest fascinations of woman, the enchantments of an unrivaled grace. Her hair was fine, long and silky, and of that blond cendré which, without the aid of powder, gives a sweetness and delicious harmony to the face, which was both bright and pensive.

As a charming contrast, she had brown eyebrows, and long curved brown eyelashes which set off the tender gleam of her blue eyes-eyes which only the pencil of a Greuze could depict.

Both types of beauty were untied in her face in a delightful manner, for the tender passion of the blonde was mingled with the ardent smile of the brunette."

Goncourt, Edmond de, Jules de Goncourt, and Robert Kopp. 2003. Les maîtresses de Louis XV et autres portraits de femmes: la duchesse de Châteauroux et ses soeurs, madame de Pompadour, la du Barry, Sophie Arnould, histoire de Marie-Antoinette. Paris: Laffont. 

July 14, 2014

The Bastille: facts and stories

Storming of the Bastille. Arrest of M. de Launay. Painting, 1791. Musée Carnavalet

Commemorative buttons were distributed! Here are some more facts about the Bastille

That is one hell of a loaf! The Quality of Bread in France prior to the Storming of the Bastille

At the end of 1789 there was a demand to commemorate the Bastille with a festival and Francois Joseph Gossec composed Le Triomphe De La République for it.

Much earlier in history, lady writer Madame de Tencin was sent to the Bastille for a crime she did not commit (a total set up!)

Button commemorating the taking of the Bastille.