Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Games People Played

The god of Mercury is depicted above the doors in the room that Marie Antoinette designed and in which she and her friends gambled when the Court visited Fontainebleau.  Mercury is the god of financial gain, commerce, luck.  And of trickery and thieves.  Funny girl.

by Jean-Baptiste Gautier Dagoty, 1775

By my estimation, this was painted around the time Marie Antoinette was in her high-flying, giddy, gambling state. Girls just wanna have fun.  It's one of my favorites of her.

These delicious looking morsels are gambling purses.  Don't they just scream, "Play Time!"

Twice in the last month, I've included a still from the Sofia Coppola movie "Marie Antoinette: The Journey", based on the non-fiction Antonia Fraser book.  I've listened to the audio book more than a dozen times, surely, on my headphones, walking in Texas.  The British reader, Donada Peters', voice calms me.  Occasionally, I use it to conquer insomnia.  I don't know that I've seen the movie all the way through.  It bothers me more than it should when a historical fact is incorrect or twisted in a movie.  I want to know that every single detail is accurate down to what they ate for dinner and who sat next to whom.  I don't like historical fiction in book or movie form.  But, it's a pretty movie and the sets and clothing are authentic.  It was filmed, in part, at least, at Versailles.

I came across this on a blog or website a few years ago.  I didn't note which one, so, unfortunately, I can't credit them for the humorous notations.  I'd be very surprised, almost shocked, that the Queen was this informal at gambling parties or anywhere else.  Louis XVI didn't totally approve (he probably didn't see the attraction) nor did he normally join her gambling parties, at least not for the duration, but he did pay her gambling debts without much grumbling.

Gaming tables elsewhere at Fontainebleau


Debe said...

So are you with Elissa? Traveling outside Paris....not sure if that is you...
I would love to see Fountainbleu..never considered going there but you are the pathfinder. What beautiful, historic things you see...

Madeleine Doak said...

Fontainebleau is a jewel - beautiful and without the Versailles crowds.

We're not staying together, but Elissa is here and we've spent most of two days together. We (and three of her other friends) had a huge day today. It's barely dark - at 10:15 - and I can't summon the strength to post pictures about it!

Danielle said...

It's all so beautiful Madeleine. Thank you for sharing it all!

Madeleine Doak said...

Some day, Danielle!