Three hundred years ago getting to Versailles, the celebrated French seat of power, was a bit of a slog through muddy country villages. Only 20 or so kilometers southwest of the Eiffel Tower, the trip was made by horse or coach or worse, by foot, and could take the better part of a day. But Revolutions have consequences. Today for about $8.50 you can now jump on the RER C suburban railroad from a handful of stations along the left bank, and shoot over to Versailles in half an hour. And your coach might be a royal one. One in ... More » »
Further Tales of Young Marie Antoinette at Gallery Joe continues Marilyn Holsing’s fascination with the notorious French queen. The exhibition generally avoids presenting an overly sympathetic view of the royal, who may or may not be deserving of her disgraced reputation. Instead, in the imagined scenes, young Marie’s identity serves as a jumping off point for the artist. Meticulously detailed, Holsing’s works on paper resemble tapestries from a distance, complete with toile illustrations.
If you’re not already familiar with the form, Pastel Portraits: Images of 18th-Century Europe at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA, or The Met, through Aug. 14, 2011) will introduce an under-appreciated medium at its height; and high it was. Popes and royalty chose pastels rather than painted portraits on occasion, as anyone will know who saw the wonderful exhibition of Jean-Étienne Liotard at the Frick Collection in 2006. It included the marvelous pastel portraits that Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria, commissioned of her children, including the 7 year old Marie Antoinette (see below), who would marry Louis XV of ... More » »