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WIJW at Versailles

James Andrew at Versailles

James Andrew at Versailles

Properly fortified by our Les Ambassadeurs brunch at the Crillon we made a pilgrimage to my personal mecca, Versailles! – and as you might imagine the whole experience had my spirit sailing – an unsurpassed, grand, and exuberant fugue – so utterly over the top – and all inexorably fused to the thought of the kings, the queens, and the mistresses who once lived here, and the wide reaching cultural and artistic influence they continue to exert even to this day.


James Andrew and portrait of Marie-Antoinette.

James Andrew and portrait of Marie-Antoinette.

Marie-Antoinette – a perpetually fascinating force of nature – an irresistible amalgam of unbounded freedom and energy fueled by unlimited wealth. And yes, we do realize that this is a bit of an oversimplification, (a fate that befalls so many major historical figures), but I’m sure you will forgive us a touch of fantasy here. Of course one can only imagine the pressures the French court must have had on a queen of only twenty years of age, and perhaps we can relate to the escapist impulses that ensued! As we’ve mentioned, WIJW makes no excuse for its own escapist tendencies!


The grounds of the Petit Trianon.

The grounds of the Petit Trianon.

The château of the Petit Trianon.

The château of the Petit Trianon.

And Marie-Antoinette’s Petit Trianon – a gift from Louis the XVI (she was just nineteen at the time) – Originally built by Louis XV’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour, Marie-Antoinette redecorated to suit and redesigned much of the garden grounds – This was to become her private sanctuary – an escape from the rigors of court etiquette as well as a place to indulge her famously extravagant appetites.

A beautifully restrained architecture preempting the Neoclassical movement – it’s no wonder that the Petit Trianon has been replicated so often – take for instance Nissim de Comando in Paris or the Villa EIlen Roc in Cap D’ Antibes both of which I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.

James Andrew at the Grand Trianon.

James Andrew at the Grand Trianon.

And we end at the Grand Trianon – On the outskirts of Versailles, the structure dates to the mid-seventeenth century and was commissioned by Louis XIV – a retreat for the King and his mistress, the Marquise de Montespan. A sweeping expression of the King’s office, it continues to exude the tremendous power and grace that pervades all at Versailles.

16 Comments

  1. Dean says:

    James,

    What a great series of images ! I enjoyed looking at them and reading the text, very accurate and informative ! I’m glad you had a meal before heading out to Versailles, as when I was there I was a bit famished… I needed a piece of cake from Marie ! Thanks for this beautiful post. Merci beaucoup !

    Dean

  2. B says:

    This is so beautiful! The gardens are amazing!

  3. littleaugury says:

    “I am the state”, would be appropriate here.

  4. Matt says:

    It’s such a fanatasy world – Versailles.
    Yet again some great pics James.
    Surprises me to see there’s almost no other visitors in the background of the photos.
    I’ve been twice and always large crowds.

    Hugs – Matt

  5. NYC says:

    Dear What Is James Wearing, could you please show us a picture where you wear the shirt from this post along with the pants from the previous one? That would be awesome!

  6. Versailles verges on indescribable, as one can never really convey the feeling of being in such a place.

    Great coverage! I’m choosing not to notice that you took a pic with flash in front of the painting with the missing child.

  7. Yasmeen Baroness von Schleinitz says:

    I love to see you in front of Queen Marie-Antoinette! Les deux belles! Thank you for sharing!
    Marie Antoinette and me werw born on the 2nd of November! I feel so closed to her. Beautiful picture!
    Thank you Darling James!

  8. dialog says:

    Oh La La. What a great escape reading your posts.

  9. Dagmar von Schwarzenberg says:

    Ich hab mein ganzes Leben Versailles geliebt…….meine Grossmutter kommt aus Frankreich, als ich ein kleines Mädchen war zeigte sie mir Versailles, es war unvergesslich…….

    Liebe Grüsse

    Dagmar

  10. Edie B. says:

    I use to think that Marie Antoinette and I were very similar, two wealthy marvellous queens…

    love,

    Edie

  11. Maria La Torre says:

    Versalles es un sueño, y tú eres parte de él, perteneces a un mundo maravilloso que casi ha desaparecido, eres un símbolo de la belleza y riqueza de antaño…….

    cariños,

    Maria

  12. Christian Fuchs says:

    I was always fascinated by Marie Antoinette´s story, I loved the luxury and everything that was around her…

  13. Eugenia Drummond says:

    Have you heard of our fabulous brazilian Xica da Silva, you would love her, I will send you some information about her, she was like a queen in her town Tijuco during the XVIII century!

    love from Brazil!

    Eugenia

  14. Fleur de Lys says:

    This is where I come from…….

  15. Terry Kerr says:

    One of my ancestors lived with Marie Antoinette in Versailles, so I know lots of stories about her, have to tell u one day when we meet for a coffee in NY!

  16. Maria Paula says:

    Qué hermosas fotografías de Versalles James, tu encajas perfectamente en ellas, me gustaría verte con una peluca blanca y listón y el traje de le época, harías un perfecto Louis XVI.

    besos,

    MP

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