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 Beauty Standards 
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I was just reading that in Antonia Fraser's book!! :roll: She describes Louis as being a fat teenager!!! Everyone knows he was thin as a teenager. It is little things like that that make me doubt an otherwise excellent biography of Marie-Antoinette. But I think Fraser is building up the scenario for the fat husband vs dashing sexy lover. :roll: :roll: :roll:

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Last edited by Therese on Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:10 pm
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When he was young Louis XVI was more thin and well proportioned, but with time it is exact that he was more fat :D
He liked much to eat and during the revolution he depressed and did not make any more an activity like hunting, whereas he ate very much....so.... :D

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Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:14 pm
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Louis-Charles wrote:
When he was young Louis XVI was more thin and well proportioned, but with time it is exact that he was more fat :D
He liked much to eat and during the revolution he depressed and did not make any more an activity like hunting, whereas he ate very much....so.... :D


Yes, exactly! He did not become heavier until later!

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Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:20 pm
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Quote:
But I think Fraser is building up the scenario for the fat husband vs dashing sexy lover.

You are right, Therese ! Lady Fraser is another adept of this Zweigian theory... :?

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Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:42 pm
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Post Louis' appearance
what I have read is he looked ok when not moving, but he moved without any grace and in a court that really praised grace, that worked more against him than if he were hideously ugly.
Also, I read he had the look of his mother's side - German - so looked less like the French image of a prince, and Artois, who had his grandfather's coloring (dark) and was slight and gracefull fit into that image much more.

also - about the aging - I get the impression that most people that went through the revolution aged fast. almost all of them, if you look at pictures from 1789 and later, the difference is astounding - think about Marie Antoinette; Louis XVI; Robespierre; others. guess it was an intense period, it make people grow old quickly.


Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:41 pm
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I agree with your description of Louis and Artois. I read this also.

Aging quick because of the intensity of events... :shock: I never looked at this situation this way... It is an interesting point ! Did Robespierre look older than his age ?

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Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:55 pm
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Post Robespierre
man died at 36 looking 60. it's easy to forget how YOUNG all the revolutionaries were, isn't it?


Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:57 pm
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Thank you ! I did not know Maxou looked so old... :?

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Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:00 pm
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I never thought of the germanic- v.s. french look of the two brothers that way. But it is true that Artois fit the french ideal more than Louis , who would probably have been more noticed if he had lived in Germany (prussia wasnt it back then?). although both very good looking in their youth , maybe that was it , and perhaps the way Louis looked was of comfort to Marie Antoinette who had just come from a germanic country ! At least he looked familiar !

just out of curiosity , what did the Antonia Fraser bio say in regards to the way M.A. and Louis XVI related and got along ?


Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:17 pm
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Post Re: Beauty Standards
To question whether Louis had character means one hasn't read any material about his last year or even Last Will and Testament. I've always thought he was very attractive yet gauche which was a big stigma in the extremely sophisticated French court.

He was generous and kind, humble and burdened with mean-spirited Provence and charming but intriguing Artois.

Louis and Marie Antoinette's two surviving children were recorded for history as beautiful, so even by the standards of the time they must have gotten good genes from both parents. Today their fresh faces look out from portraits depicting absolutely charming children which can't be said of all portraits of children of the time. So my theory is that usually attractive people produce attractive kids and beautiful Madame Royale was reported to look like her father. Ergo--he couldn't have been ugly and plain.

NOTE: Also he was a Bourbon and they were noted for huge appetites bordering on gluttony--note the dinners consumed by Louis XIV! :!:


Fri May 02, 2008 2:10 am
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Post Re: Beauty Standards
winsan2 wrote:
Louis and Marie Antoinette's two surviving children were recorded for history as beautiful, so even by the standards of the time they must have gotten good genes from both parents.


Yes, it's enough to see Louis XV's portraits, I think at that ages he was a charming man, and his grandchild, Louis resembled him, and Louis' children as well!

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Fri May 02, 2008 2:16 pm
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Post Re:
Pimprenelle wrote:
Aging quick because of the intensity of events...


That's true , just see our country's prime minister's face :lol:

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Fri May 02, 2008 2:19 pm
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Post Re: Beauty Standards
I don't think that he was reckoned to be ugly, even at his time. But as Thérèse stated it, he lacked of elegance and grace, particularly compared to his wife. At the court, I think it was worse than being actually ugly !

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Mon May 19, 2008 7:34 am
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Post Re: Beauty Standards
I have read many times how people surrounding him had described him as a fat, or better plump man, without any manners who did not look like a king at all, only interested in food and carpentry. This specific quote is by Matjez (French ?). The problem is to make a difference between the real king and the king who was made by the revolutionary propaganda.

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Mon May 19, 2008 4:14 pm
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Post Re: Beauty Standards
Indeed, this terrible image was made to serve revolution propaganda. Actually, Louis XVI was a very tall man, very thin when young, who grew up getting stronger. He was a sportive, for he loved riding. He also enjoyed manual arts and was extremely strong.

Later, he would go fatter when he lacked physical activities. His depressive state may also cause him to eat too much for, when he was young, he did not. For instance, this first evening sentence "I always sleep better with my belly full" is a legend. Dauphin Louis did not eat that much at this dinner with his young wife.

As much as manual arts and hunting, Louis loved learning. He was interested in mechanical and all the discoveries of his time, especially in geography. He taught his children how to draw a geographical card. He knew in marines as well as an engineer, and he perfectly knew English, for he was good at languages too.

As for he physical appearence, his reputation was terrible, for he was shy and clumpsy... which could be charming, isn't it ? But, when people met him, they could be surprised at how he looked good, compared to his reputation.

It is true that Louis XVI was not gifted for communication and lacked charisma, and that is sad for a leader... He was rather a man of cabinet, who kept silently studying for long... and that could be sexy too, isn't it ? :wink:

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Mon May 19, 2008 6:55 pm
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