Madame Elisabeth exhibition 2013

19 October 2011

Beautiful and poignant miniature of Madame Élisabeth, sister of Louis XVI, who was guillotined in May 1794. This was painted by the Marquis de Lubersac, and given by the Comte d’Artois to the Marchioness of Buckingham in 1797.

I’m really thrilled to see that there will be an exhibition about Madame Élisabeth at her château, Montreuil in 2013, which I will definitely be visiting as I’ve wanted to visit her domaine there for ages and I am really interested in the life of this most unfortunate French princess and it’s definitely time she got a bit more attention on her own account! She barely even featured in the 2005 film, which was really unfair, I thought.

This princess never married and was allowed to stay on in Versailles close to her brother Louis XVI and her sister-in-law Marie-Antoinette. On her nineteenth birthday, Louis XVI gave her the Estate of Montreuil, a kind of country residence close to the Palace of Versailles. Music, science, painting, reading, embroidery and games: Madame Elisabeth, a pious and generous soul, spent her simple and happy days here surrounded by her friends. She came of age in 1789 on her twenty-fifth birthday and at last had the right to sleep in Montreuil. The events of the Revolution then decided otherwise.

This exhibition, coproduced with the General Council of the Yvelines department, will be held in the Residence and Orangerie of the Estate of Montreuil. The house, exceptionally opened to the public, will offer an evocation of the setting of the princess through the furniture and objects that surrounded her. The exhibition’s scenographic design will strive to restore the intimate atmosphere of Montreuil. The Orangerie will present the life of Madame Elisabeth, from her birth to her death, with the emphasis on her stays in Montreuil, through a varied selection of works: paintings, graphic arts and objects.‘ – From the Versailles website.

I wrote about Madame Élisabeth’s love for Montreuil as part of my series of posts about her life up to her execution at the age of thirty in May 1794.

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