Sunday, June 29, 2008

Marie Antoinette' Writing Desk

When I am not reading about the struggles of the American south, the dogma of Modernism and looking over the shoulder of Madeline's Judy Blume books I have been reading about Marie Antoinette. I am not sure why but I think it has to do with the idea of design as biography. I am not quite finished with it but Caroline Weber's book Queen of Fashion; What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution but it is an amazing narrative of the power of the design. Primarily, it discusses the Queen's costume as her power but it has this description of her relationship to Petit Trianon that illustrates an interesting lesson on architecture and its influence on values or lifestyle. " Struck by the Petit Trianon's freshness and simplicity, the Queen promptly and enthusiastically set about transforming the place into a laboratory for a program of broad-based aesthetic and cultural experimentation." Thus began the trend in 18th century toward the "Simply Life", based on Jean Jacques Rousseau's writings. There is also a number of furnitures pieces from Petit Trianon as well as Versailles that were designed for the young queen that are modern marvels, the mechanical table by the royal cabinet maker Jean Henri Riesener seems to be designed to thrill a Queen.

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