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 WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris! 
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Post WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
Marie Antoinette
Galeries nationales du Grand Palais
Opening : From the 2008-03-15 to the 2008-06-30

http://www.rmn.fr/Marie-Antoinette

Here’s a riddle for you: I am the youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa
of Austria. I married the heir to the French throne in 1770. Some consider me
a carefree, well-behaved young girl; others think I am an extravagant pleasure
seeker. I am known to have inspired a lot of new ideas, especially in the world
of art. Who am I? Marie Antoinette, of course!...

The riddle is easy to solve, for the story of the young Austrian archduchess
is an unforgettable one. Admiration, hate, jealousy and high drama all form
part of her story, which has retained people’s interest down the ages.

Marie-Antoinette is undoubtedly France’s most notorious queen. She was
adulated on her arrival in Versailles, where her beauty, vivacity and intelligence
were widely admired. Worried by her popularity, courtiers at Versailles attempted
to limit her political influence. But the young queen was destined to make an
impact. Marie-Antoinette soon became known as a patron of the arts.

She brought about changes at Versailles in the realms of decorative arts, music
and fashion. However, her extravagance came in for sharp criticism. The young
queen was dismissed as “the Austrian” and considered a spendthrift,
a schemer and a counter-revolutionary.

The Grand Palais provides a fascinating insight into Marie Antoinette’s
strong and complex personality through this exhibition of nearly 300 works from
all over Europe: a rare opportunity, considering that the last tribute of this
scale paid to this famous historical figure dates back to 1955

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Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:09 am
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
How wonderful - but it's such a pity that I am going to be in Paris just the week before March the 15th, so I will miss it...

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Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:02 pm
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
Wow, I reall hope I'll be able to go to the Paris in that period! It must be really interesting! I wonder what items will be exhibited...paintings? objects owned by Marie Antoinette? other works of art? In any case, I'd really like to see it

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Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:51 pm
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
Has anyone been there? I'm planning to visit the exhibition in May.

A review from connaissancedesarts.com:

Dans la peau de Marie-Antoinette au Grand Palais

Après le film, l’expo. La dernière reine de France n’en finit pas de passionner les foules. Mais cette fois, la « biographie visuelle » que nous proposent au Grand Palais les deux commissaires, Xavier Salmon et Pierre Arizzoli-Clémentel, approche au plus près la réalité historique. Leur érudition est ici au service d’un projet original, le portrait en images d’un personnage au « destin exceptionnel », merveilleusement scénographié par le metteur en scène d’opéra Robert Carsen. Le travail du trio fait merveille. Dès la première salle, le visiteur entre dans un autre monde, une autre époque : Schönbrunn, XVIIIe siècle, la vie et l’éducation d’une jeune princesse autrichienne. Une sorte de conte de fées commence alors avec, au gré du parcours, mariage royal, fêtes et réjouissances dans le cadre le plus luxueux, le plus raffiné du royaume. Versailles est un théâtre, la Reine y tient le premier rôle. Mais, ici, les objets ne sont pas réduits à un simple élément décoratif : ils racontent une histoire et dessinent en creux le portrait de Marie-Antoinette, adulée puis honnie, à travers ses goûts et ses amitiés. Les extraits de sa correspondance avec sa mère l’impératrice Marie-Thérèse qui ponctuent le parcours éclairent encore un peu plus la personnalité de la jeune femme, qui passe brutalement de l’insouciance heureuse à la tragédie. La fin de l’histoire est connue, mais on ne dévoilera pas celle de l’exposition, véritable coup de théâtre visuel. Bien plus qu’une histoire des styles, c’est donc un pan de l’Histoire de France que nous fait vivre cette exposition, un voyage dans le temps, qui commence au son du menuet et s’achève dans la fureur. On en tremble encore.

l’Histoire de France que nous fait vivre cette exposition, un voyage dans le temps, qui commence au son du menuet et s’achève dans la fureur. On en tremble encore.

Sylvie Blin

« Marie-Antoinette », Galeries Nationales du Grand palais, square Jean Perrin (01 44 13 17 60 – http://www.rmn.fr); du 15 mars au 30 juin.

Image

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Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:51 am
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
I hear that it is a magnificent exhibit, showing the queen to be the clever patroness of the arts that she was.

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Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:45 am
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
I was there yesterday, and I really enjoyed it. Some rare pieces are displayed, such as furniture, the queen's last letter or even her shirt when she was carried to the scaffhold. Marie Antoinette's own drawings can also be seen, particularly her father's portrait, which is quite funny and touching. There are also numerous paintings, not only the well-known ones, emphasizing how difficult it was for the painters to portray the queen. By and large, it revolves around the queen's role as a mecene and the evolution of her image throughout her life (official pictures that missed their goal, and caricatures). It avoids the political aspect of her life, and the tone is rather neutral, not to say compassionate.

That is said, some assertions might irk you : the love story between the queen and Fersen is taken as read (also the queen's alleged letter to him : "adieu le plus aimé des aimants"), whereas, on the contrary, the queen's last letter's authenticity is deemed questionable : the commentary indeed stated the the letter was written in "perfect French"(I haven't read the queen's letter : did she usually commit mistakes ???) , implying that it could have been modified if not totally written after her death,( which is, to me, quite a flimsy argument ... An other little detail I found intersting : it appears that the little painting showing Marie Antoinette wearing a blue dress and reading a book would in fact represent Madame Sophie (the library would indeed be hers, and she is dark eyed).

Apart from those little detail, I really advise you to visit the exhibition, if you are lucky enough to be in Paris before June.

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Thu May 01, 2008 2:09 pm
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
I shall be there tonight...for the third time. Do buy the catalogue on Internet, even at 50 euros it is a must! The highlights for me; the room with three busts of the Queen displayed together, the allegorical sculpture of her as a goddess holding the baby dauphin, the Queen's features quite identifiable, which was considered too daring by the Queen because of the semi nudity and never displayed. And the little painting by Vestier in front of the Temple of Love, my favourite.

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Mon May 05, 2008 2:19 pm
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
How lucky you are! :D

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Mon May 05, 2008 5:30 pm
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
Ludy wrote:
I was there yesterday, and I really enjoyed it. Some rare pieces are displayed, such as furniture, the queen's last letter or even her shirt when she was carried to the scaffhold. Marie Antoinette's own drawings can also be seen, particularly her father's portrait, which is quite funny and touching. There are also numerous paintings, not only the well-known ones, emphasizing how difficult it was for the painters to portray the queen. By and large, it revolves around the queen's role as a mecene and the evolution of her image throughout her life (official pictures that missed their goal, and caricatures). It avoids the political aspect of her life, and the tone is rather neutral, not to say compassionate.

That is said, some assertions might irk you : the love story between the queen and Fersen is taken as read (also the queen's alleged letter to him : "adieu le plus aimé des aimants"), whereas, on the contrary, the queen's last letter's authenticity is deemed questionable : the commentary indeed stated the the letter was written in "perfect French"(I haven't read the queen's letter : did she usually commit mistakes ???) , implying that it could have been modified if not totally written after her death,( which is, to me, quite a flimsy argument ... An other little detail I found intersting : it appears that the little painting showing Marie Antoinette wearing a blue dress and reading a book would in fact represent Madame Sophie (the library would indeed be hers, and she is dark eyed).

Apart from those little detail, I really advise you to visit the exhibition, if you are lucky enough to be in Paris before June.


Thanks for this excellent summary, Ludy!

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Mon May 05, 2008 5:37 pm
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
Urgh...I'm so sad! I'd like so much to see the exposition, but I'm afraid I wan't be able to :cry: But thank you for your comments!

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Mon May 05, 2008 9:20 pm
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
baron de batz wrote:
...the allegorical sculpture of her as a goddess holding the baby dauphin, the Queen's features quite identifiable, which was considered too daring by the Queen because of the semi nudity and never displayed.

I have never heard of this, thank you for mentioning it, dear Baron! Is there are picture of it on the internet anywhere?

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Tue May 06, 2008 4:42 am
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
I'll check!

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Tue May 06, 2008 3:43 pm
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
I finally visited the exhibition! I liked it a lot. It was very well staged, most interesting. I was especially moved by the original wedding register showing Marie Antoinette's famous ink-blotted signature. And the exhibition gift shop was a guilty pleasure with all those kitschy items.

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Wed May 07, 2008 6:33 am
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
Thanks for this excellent summary, Ludy![/quote]

You are more than welcome Thérèse !

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Wed May 07, 2008 3:22 pm
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Post Re: WOW...a NEW exhibition in Paris!
Indeed it's a wonderful exhibition, I went 2 times in May and I loved it! There are many portraits, objects, furniture etc... :D

The exhibition catalogue is available on Amazon I think :wink:

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Wed May 07, 2008 5:47 pm
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