Posts tagged 18th century
Posts tagged 18th century
A portrait of Madame du Barry with Zamor by Jean-Baptiste-Andre Gautier d’Agoty. 18th century.
(C) RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot
What the king does from clemency they will say he does from fear, for they will not do him the justice he deserves. As for me, who read his heart, I know well that all his thoughts are for the welfare of his people. But he would make that more sure by isolating himself less from his nobles. He is advised to the contrary.
God grant he may never repent it! I dare not speak to him openly about many things that I see and that he does not suspect because his soul is so fine that intrigue is foreign to it. Ah! why cannot I get away and live as I like!
—Madame Elisabeth to the Marquise de Bombelles, 6 June 1788
image: (C) RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Daniel Arnaudet
Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron, the duchesse de Polignac, died on December 9th, 1793. She had been living with her family in exile; they had fled France after the fall of the Bastille due to the intense hatred of the Polignac clan in France.
[A friend of the duchesse wrote, of her final months:]
“She did not stop crying. For six months, a deep sadness, great sufferings without certain causes weakened her each day more.”
A last blow hit her when they were forced to announce to her this horrible news: on October, 16th, 1793, Marie-Antoinette had been beheaded in Paris. This was the true beginning of Madame de Polignac’s agony.
She could not survive the queen, and she herself died on December, 9th, 1793, one month and a half, precisely, after her friend.
A witness told of her death: “Her last sigh was but her last breath, and to tell this in one word, her death was as sweet as she herself had been. She was buried in Vienna and they wrote on her tomb her name only, followed by this mention: ‘Dead from suffering’ on December 9th, 1793.”
A portrait of Madame du Barry by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun. 1781.
Citizen Jurors—You have passed sentence on the wife of the last tyrant of the French; you have now to pass sentence on the courtesan of his infamous predecessor.
—the public prosecutor at Madame du Barry’s trial, December 7th, 1793
On December 8th, 1793, Jeanne Bécu, the comtesse du Barry—better known as Madame du Barry—was executed after having been found guilty of counter-revolutionary activity. In her last moments, struggling with her executioners, several witnesses recalled that she cried out: "One moment more! I beg you, Monsieur Executioner, one moment more!"
Madame Henriette de France as a Vestal Virgin, circa 1749, by Jean Marc Nattier.
source: my photos