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 Antoinette's sense of humor 
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Post Antoinette's sense of humor
Can everyone think of any funny and naughty things that Antoinette did that shocked people. (Not bad or rude things, she never was like that.) Remember the time she dressed like a nun and went to see Louis in his office and he did not recognize her for several minutes? She was laughing so hard, she gave herself away.

Or the time she threw bread pellets at Louis during a state banquet? People were appalled....


Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:50 pm
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I love this habit to use nicknames she had : "Madame l'Etiquette", "Mousseline la Sérieuse", "le Chou d'amour". Her son did the same, calling his Tourzel Governess "Madame Sévère".

I also like the joyful way she received all these old ladies in her court, laughing at them like a mocking little girl... Well, wasn't she a little girl, after all ? A lady of her suite sat on the floor, hidden by others' huge paniers, and Antoinette couldn't help laughing each time she took a glimpse at her !

It's so childish I'm moved. Which girl hasn't done such things ?

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Sun Mar 26, 2006 2:17 pm
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Yes, she loved playful nicknames!! She had a gift for seeing the droll in every situation! I appreciate her spontaneity and impulsiveness! Very natural for a vivacious young girl!! :D :lol:

I love the story of how MA and Lamballe rode in a sleigh through Paris without an escort, and they laughed but of course it was considered "scandalous" behavior. And when Antoinette's coach broke down, so she hired a fiacre in order to get to the soiree on time, then told everyone. "I came in a fiacre!". People were shocked. The Parisians were quite stiff about such things which would have been viewed as charming in Vienna. :o


Sun Mar 26, 2006 6:29 pm
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Oh, yes ! I love this fiacre story too ! And when she fell from her donkey, and asked people to call Madame l'Etiquette, so that she could say "how a dauphine has to fall from a donkey !".

She was so witty !

Questioned for her trial, while asked if the sovereigns were ready to do anything to get back on their thrones, she quietly answered : "we didn't need to get back on the throne, we were on !"

I find this reply wonderful ! She stands accused, she's risking her life... and she dares to make fun of her accusators !

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Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:14 pm
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Another story is how she misused the English word "irresistibles" to describe gentlemen's britches because her English was shaky. Lady Spencer, who was visiting, ran out of the room and out of the palace, waving people out of the way with her cane. Antoinette was truly contrite because she had not meant to startle or shock Lady Spencer, or anyone, but it was an amusing incident.


Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:19 pm
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Oh ? This I didn't know, Therese ! Thanks for sharing...

It's one of the reasons I loved Fraser's book, you know. Englishspeaking people have other references and sources...

For instance, Antonia Fraser, loving pets as all English do, insists on Antoinette's dogs. That's important to me, for I love doggies to !

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Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:35 pm
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Yes, Antoinette did love her dogs. When she was Dauphine, her suite of rooms were full of dogs and small children all playing together, because she allowed her servants to bring their children with them when they came to work. (She was always oriented to the needs of mothers and their families.) They say it was a boisterous atmosphere. Combine this with the games of hide-and-go-seek that she played with Mme Elisabeth when the latter was a small girl, her apartments were filled with innocent laughter and games. (She frowned on rough language and coarse jokes and would not allow them in her presence, although she was no prude.)


Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:42 pm
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Wasn't she a child herself, after all ?

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Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:12 pm
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Yes, indeed, she was, and she remained child-like (not childish) all of her life, which was part of her charm.


Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:28 pm
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Oh, it's a pleasure to read you, dear Therese ! So many people consider she was childish, and then, suddenly became serious ! I don't think so, it wouldn't be logical ! She was child-like and serious all together. She had spleen moments as a young dauphine, and smiled even in the conciergerie, when Rosalie gave her a little mirror, for instance.

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Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:44 pm
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One can see the child-like sweetness and wonder combined with the touch of sorrow and compassion in many of the portraits of Antoinette, especially those of Vigee-Lebrun, such as your "Lady in red" avatar, dear Pimprenelle. (I am so glad that there is one other person who sees her as I do!) I see nothing of the empty-headed, pleasure-obsessed vamp that she is too often characterized as being in any of her portraits. As Chatuebriand said, "She seemed enchanted with life." She had a happy disposition, yet as Mme de Campan said, "I never knew the queen to have a completely happy day."


Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:15 pm
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Post Humour and sweetness of Marie Antoinette
"One can see the child-like sweetness and wonder combined with the touch of sorrow and compassion in many of the portraits of Antoinette, especially those of Vigee-Lebrun, such as your "Lady in red" avatar, dear Pimprenelle. (I am so glad that there is one other person who sees her as I do!) I see nothing of the empty-headed, pleasure-obsessed vamp that she is too often characterized as being in any of her portraits."

Pardon me, therese for repeating your words, however, for me they just seem poetic - what a wonderful description of Marie Antoinette.

For me your words were wonderful to just repeat.

I too love Pimprenelle's avatar - though I am not certain it is a Vigee LeBrun image of her (the Kelley site I beleive has had this one, along with the still brighter red version from the Detroit museum in something of a holding pattern not sure if it is a Vigee work).

Axel


Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:25 pm
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Thank you, dear Axel. Your words are like poetry, too!

I thought I read somewhere that the Marie-Antoinette "Lady in Red" portrait was a posthumous copy that Vigee-Lebrun did of one of the earlier portraits, but I am not certain. It is lovely and the exact face from the portrait of the queen with the children and the cradle, I believe.


Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:33 pm
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It's true there are two versions of this portrait. One being brighter, her dress reder, her hair reder too... I prefer this picture, for the face really is Marie-Antoinette's face as represented by Vigée-Lebrun so many times.

The other portrait shows a very different face, I don't really think she resembles the queen's other portraits. Do you ?

Image

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Tue Mar 28, 2006 8:25 am
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No, this one was obviously a later copy.


Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:28 am
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