Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Bourbons at Home- A Pictorial Essay

Here are some "domestic" scenes of the Bourbon dynasty over the years.

The Royal family in 1781 at the birth of the Dauphin Louis-Joseph. From left to right, the three Artois children, the Comtesse d'Artois, Artois, Louis XVI, Madame Royale, the Dauphin on Marie-Antoinette's lap, Madame Elisabeth, the Provences. Provence looks none too happy and his wife Madame was quite put out by the baby's birth. As Nesta Webster says in Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette before the Revolution:
The truth is that it was the fact of [Marie-Antoinette] having children that increased the malignity of her enemies. Until that moment, they were not obliged to take her very seriously; as a mother, and above all as the mother of the Dauphin, she became at once a formidable obstacle to their plans.

Here is a Caraud painting of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette at the hameau. The king is talking to a lady (Madame Elisabeth, I presume), and the queen receives flowers from a maid. Behind her is the Princesse de Lamballe.
If the King had not inspired the Queen with a lively feeling of love, it is quite certain that she yielded him respect and affection for the goodness of his disposition and the equity of which he gave so many proofs throughout his reign. (Madame Campan's Memoirs)

Marie-Antoinette and her children in the gardens of Trianon.

The Restoration: Artois, Louis XVIII, the Duchesse de Berry (Caroline of Naples), the Duchesse d'Angouleme (Madame Royale), the Duc d'Angouleme, the Duc de Berry.

After Berry's assassination. From left to right are the Duchesse d'Angouleme, the Duc d'Angouleme, Henri de Chambord in the arms of his grandfather Monsieur (Artois), Louis XVIII, Louise d'Artois, and the Duchesse de Berry. In the words of the royal governess Madame de Gontaut:
Monsieur used to come to Saint-Cloud nearly every morning to see his little grandchildren. He came alone, in a little carriage....The children would catch sight of him along way off, and run eagerly to meet him. The Duchesse de Berry often spent the mornings at Saint-Cloud. (Memoirs of the Duchesse de Gontaut)


Anonymous said...

I’m sure, as historian, you know many of the subtle messages and symbols painted into these scenes. It is interesting to study the faces of the various family members. Thanks for sharing.

Christine said...

Wonderful. Thank you.