Small Talk from Versailles: a day with the Sun King

Thanks to several tv series and movies everyone knows that a very strict etiquette controlled, in ancient times, the social and private lives of the European royal and aristocratic families. Each country had its own rules that were progressively abandoned, especially in the last two centuries. Today we can still gossip - in a good …

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Focus on a Masterpiece: Le Balcon – The Balcony (Manet, 1868/69)

Today I was dreaming about having a balcony in Paris. Not necessarily a huge one. A small one would be fine for me. One like Le Balcon (The Balcony) painted by Edouard Manet in 1868/1869 would be perfect. I love that picture. It really is one of my favorite paintings ever so I decided to …

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Small Talks from Versailles #2: 5 creepy things you don’t know about Marie Antoinette and her family

My little column about French monarchs continues with some more information about Marie Antoinette. This time, since we are in the mid of Dark October, I will share 5 creepy things you probably do not know about Marie Antoinette and her family. 1- THE QUEEN'S HEAD - The French Revolution hit the imagination of many …

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The day when Marie Antoinette died

On October 16th 1793 a simple cart left the Conciergerie, the revolutionaries' prison on Ile-de-la-Cite. Marie-Antoinette was sitting on it, wearing a simple withe shirt and a bonnet, like a commoner. She was going to the guillotine. No famous last words were spoken by the "last" queen of France. She just said "Pardon me sir, …

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