There is a large 18th century court that has existed and is continuously being developed on Second Life. A recent achievement is the new Chateau de Versailles, which is being constructed with incredible detail, all the way to the texture of stone work.
Interestingly enough, the owners of the Chateau de Versailles in Second Life have allowed a movie to be filmed there. Based on Peter Shaffer's "Amadeus" there Mozart fans will be pleased to know a new film is going to be released soon! This August we can expect to be the first to watch Amadeus like you have never seen it before.
Check out the teaser trailer below. Things I noticed right away: attention to detail! The afternoon tea looks amazing and the lady holding the fluffy dog is amusing.
While the French Revolution unfolded, it was increasingly dangerous for the members of the aristocracy to stay in France.
Many became emigres and fled to places of refuge such as Coblentz or London. While Marie Antoinette was separated from her best friend the princesse de Lamballe, she would often write her letters, tinged with a certain lack of hope.
The following is a letter from Marie Antoinette to the princesse de Lamballe dated 13 October:
"I am broken-hearted at what I see passing around me, and can only entreat you not to come back. The present moment is too terrible. Although I have courage enough on my own account, I cannot help feeling uneasy for my friends, more especially for one so precious as you. I do not, therefore, wish you to expose yourself uselessly to danger. It is already as much as I can do to face circumstances calmly at the side of the King and my children. Farewell then dear heart! Give me your pity, since, from the very love I bear you, your absence is perhaps a greater trial to me than it is to you."
Here are some old photographs that were taken of Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon. There is something quite interesting viewing old photographs, even though they are one hundred and fifty years older than the architecture itself. This first one is a particular favourite of mine!
Interior view of Marie-Antoinette's bedroom, Palais de Petit Trianon, Versailles. Circa 1885-1905, gelatin silver prints.
Petit Trianon Staircase, Palais de Petit Trianon, Versailles. Circa 1945 and 1970, photograph. Wayne Andrews Archive.
Petit Trianon Salon de compagnie, Palais de Petit Trianon, Versailles. Circa1945 and 1984, photograph. Wayne Andrews Archive.
Petit Trianon Exterior, facade and fountain. Photograph. National Gallery of Art.
As Queen of France, Marie Antoinette had spent a lot of her time enjoying lazy days at her Petit Trianon. Walking through the gardens and visiting the Petit Hameau were just some activities she would take part in while there. Inside Petit Trianon she had her own library, a modest collection of classic and modern titles.
For some time she would schedule a small part of her day aside to spend in the library. It was her hope to cultivate her mind, and supplement her education by studying and reading. The idea was noble. After several failed attempts to be secluded and uninterrupted, she gave up on her scholarly pursuits.
In Slough she was able to see the telescope designed by William Herschel. She visited Bath, and tasted its warm healing waters. At Richmond she supped with the Duke of Queensberry. She also visited Brighton to enjoy the sea. Her arrival created a stir, and did not escape the tabloids.
She dined with England's bon ton, travelled with them and attended their parties. She was certainly more warmly welcomed than the duchesse de Polignac, as seen by this article:
The Princesse de Lamballe with her suite accompanied by the Duchess of Devonshire, Lady Duncannon, and other ladies of distinction, conducted by his Grace the Duke of Richmond, the principal officers of the Artillery and others of high rank, and attended by Sir Peter Burrell and other gentlemen of fortune known to her Highness abroad visited the Royal Academy at Woolwich and was present at a field day of the Royal Artillery After seeing manoeuvres with guns small aims mortars &c., they visited the Prince, 90 guns, a new man of war, just completed and ready to launch. Her Highness expressed the utmost admiration at everything shown her on that magnificent ship."
Surely the duchess de Polignac would have expressed the utmost boredom at being shown a war ship!
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S. Brett Kaufman, Marie Antoinette in Cake. 2001, archival ultra-chrome ink on cotton rag.
Fine artist S. Brett Kaufman plays with the celebrity image and the associations the world at large has pinned them with. He selects iconic portraits we can all recognize and playfully portrays them in ironic ways; such as Marie Antoinette in Cake. Click here to visit his artist page.