Marie-Adélaïde de Savoie comme Diane
Musée du Louvre, Paris (2012)
- Of the many women in the Sun King’s life, it is said that he had loved only two, and both in a non-romantic context. One is his mother, Anne d’Autriche, the other his granddaughter-in-law, Marie-Adélaïde de Savoie. The Savoyard princess was raised in Louis XIV’s court since the age of eleven as the fiancée of his eldest grandson, the duc de Bourgogne. Playful and enchanting, Adélaïde would bring back youth and freshness to an aging court. As Dauphine of France, great hopes have been expressed for a future in which she and her husband would reign a different France and a number of modern biographers assert that the French Revolution, centuries in the making, may have been averted by this prospective regime. Yet, her premature death at the age of twenty-six (her heart-broken husband would follow eight days later) leaves this difference as only a speculative posibility. True to her last words, "Princesse aujourd’hui; Demain, rien," Adélaïde is largely ignored by modern-day biographers except as a footnote to the Grand siècle. Her youngest son, orphaned at the age of two, would later reign as Louis XV.
I found it apt to post this sculpture from the Louvre since I’m reading Bourbon biographies and fortunately, I found one of the Duc and Duchesse de Bourgogne in Paris (amidst a hundred of Marie-Antoinette). The Grand siècle and the personnages in it are captivating and it provides: a. an alternative to Marie-Antoinette/ French Revolution literature which, interesting as it is, is becoming too mainstream because of its size and b. an enchanting prologue to the Revolution by bringing to life some of its causes.
Posted on Samedi, 20 avril
Tagged as: House of Bourbon House of Savoy Marie-Adelaide de Savoie Marie-Adelaide of Savoy France Paris Musee du Louvre History Versailles Louis XIV Louis XV Bourbon French History Histoire Voyage Travel