I’ll be visiting my sister in the 20 arrondisement -Belleville, Paris in July. I love her neighborhood, full of people, parks, diversity, chocolate, croissants and chocolate croissants. I didn’t go to Versailles last time because it was so on the beaten path. Also because it was built on the blood of peasants. Yet I still love the unholy female trinity of the French aristocracy so much I can’t decide which one I favor the most.
Shameless, you say! What about all those nameless peasants who died so these ladies could eat and dress like cakes? Not much I can do about that now, kind of like boycotting the pyramids. Feel free to skip to the poll at the end if you already know which lady holds your heart in her little gloved hand or you can read my paltry opinions.
Let’s start with Madame Du Barry who is currently the wallpaper on my laptop.
Let’s see if I can sum her up in a limerick:
There once was a gal from Lorraine
Her background was somewhat worse than plain
Her sugar daddy
Was a King named Louis
She had nice clothes as long as he reigned
She was also beheaded some time after she witnessed her last boyfriend’s head tossed through her window. Here is my favorite picture of her, in jaunty hunting dress, (sent to me by Beth.)
And for a real treat we have Lucille Ball playing Du Barry in the film Du Barry was a Lady.
Words and music just happen to be by Cole Porter who should have lived at Versailles.
Hard to top that but, Here’s Madame Pompadour.
Born Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, her nickname was “Reinette” as she was a little queen. The hairstyle worn by Elvis is named after her. She was the mistress to King Louis XV long before Du Barry and died of TB before the revolution had a chance to chop off her head. Here is a modern art commentary on this lady who became a cultural phenomenon.
You may also remember her from her appearance on Doctor Who as The Girl in The Fireplace.
Finally here she is dressed as Diana, the huntress, the costume she wore to the masked ball where she met Louis. These gals took their hunting outfits very seriously.
Last, and to some, least likeable – Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI. She was also known as “L’Autrichienne”, meaning the Austrian but sounding just like “the other bitch” in French. Here is a picture of her soon after her marriage in what else but riding/hunting attire. It was her mother’s favorite picture of her.
Sure she loved to gamble, liked ribbons and shoes but she probably wasn’t clever enough to come up with that Let them eat cake remark. This has been attributed to several other princesses before her time so if she did say it, she was a copycat as well as a snob. I have a very nice necklace I bought that reminds me of Marie Antoinnette.
She lived a fashion filled life even if she didn’t die of completely natural causes. Here is one painting of her in full court dress.
Enough of the pictures, time to vote. I have included their last words in the polling if that will help you any.