petit trianon


Marie Antoinette and the Petit Trianon

The Petit Trianon is a sumptuous jewellery box of a house, tucked away in the Versailles park. Designed in 1762 by Ange-Jacques Gabriel and paid for by Louis XV, it was intended as a present for Madame de Pompadour – its elegant lines a perfect setting for her own delicate, exquisite beauty. Sadly, however, Madame de Pompadour died before her romantic Versailles hideaway, her maison de plaisance in fact, was completed and instead it ended up in the hands of her successor, Madame du Barry, who despite the lurid tales attached to her background, had some seriously good taste in […]


A visit to the Petit Trianon in 1784

A beautiful painting by Nikklas Lafrensen le Jeune of the fête given by Marie Antoinette at the Petit Trianon on Monday, 21st June 1784 in honour of Gustave III, King of Sweden. I adore the graceful way that the guests stroll around the illuminated Temple of Love. This painting was part of Gustave’s private collection, kept as a souvenir of a happy time. Gustav III was a great admirer of his French royal hosts and as a gift for him, Marie Antoinette commissioned this portrait of herself with her two eldest children from the Swedish artist, Adolf Ulrich Wertmuller. It […]


Before The Storm, 40,000 words…

I made a decision last week that I need to cut back the hours that I work (I’m self employed and work from home so this isn’t a problem, luckily for me) so that I have more time to work on my writing and as a result have spent a very happy weekend researching and getting two more chapters writtten. Okay, I will be a bit poor from now on but I think being happy and er artistically fulfilled is a lot more important than having lots of THINGS. Possibly. The story is coming along nicely now. The main characters […]


Versailles, 5th October 1789

I had plenty of time to be alone with my thoughts that afternoon at the Petit Trianon. The Queen had gone off on her own to her little grotto, keen to enjoy the rare luxury of solitude and leaving her ladies in waiting to wander about the gardens and gossip in the lovely light filled salon. It was a beautiful day, sunny and bright with a few occasional rain showers that sent the other ladies shrieking and giggling indoors. I had never cared about the rain though and settled myself on the stone steps that led down from the château […]


Empress Eugènie, not so secret Marie Antoinette fan…

The Empress Eugènie was fascinated by her unfortunate predecessor, Marie Antoinette and in 1854 commissioned Winterhalter to paint this portrait of herself  dressed up as Marie Antoinette in what she and Worth fondly believed to be an approximation of eighteenth century fashion, even powdering her own beautiful dark hair white to add to the Rococo effect. It is Eugènie that we have to thank for a general resurgence in interest in Marie Antoinette. She was also an avid collector of paintings, furniture and any items connected to the tragic Queen, all of which are now to be seen at Versailles, […]


The Petit Trianon, 1784

A beautiful painting by Nikklas Lafrensen le Jeune of the fête given by Marie Antoinette at the Petit Trianon on Monday, 21st June 1784 in honour of Gustave III, King of Sweden. I adore the graceful way that the guests stroll around the illuminated Temple of Love. This painting was part of Gustave’s private collection, kept as a souvenir of a happy time. Gustav III was a great admirer of his French royal hosts and as a gift for him, Marie Antoinette commissioned this portrait of herself with her two eldest children from the Swedish artist, Adolf Ulrich Wertmuller. It […]