Tuesday, 1 September 2015

September City Daily Photo Theme Day: Curiosity

Parc aux cerfs Versailles
Today is the tercentenary of Louis XIVth's passing, at 8:05 this morning, at the palace, a few days before his 77th birthday. The palace's website dedicated to this event is pretty cool, check it out here!
It's also back to school day in France. And of course, it's the first of the month which means Theme Day in the City Daily Photo blogging community! You would have thought that VDP would easily find a curiosity in Versailles... Well nope, not after well over six years of blogging! You'd have had to pay her good money (lots of Swiss Francs for instance) to go to the palace in August and so she came up with a historical curiosity, which she photographed on this stormy August Monday. Saint-Louis neighbourhood, which you often see on this blog, was entirely built on what used to be the 'parc aux cerfs', literally the 'stag park'. It was a clearing that provided game for the royal court and aristocracy during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV. In Versailles, it is also said that there was a mansion where, at the instigation of his mistress Madame de Pompadour, king Louis XV hid some (very) young subjects of his romantic liaisons... You might want to read more about this story by clicking here. Anyway, nowadays, all that remains is this plaque below (hotel as in old French for private residence, not a place to stay at), and the building on Anjou Street. It is also said there was a tunnel somewhere, behind the door on the right of the second photo... Happy September everyone! All the posts of the community are this way!

En ce jour de rentrée scolaire et de tricentenaire de la mort de Louis XIV (voir le site du château, dédié à l'événement, très intéressant ici), nous entamons un nouveau mois. Le thème du premier du mois dans la communauté des blogueurs City Daily Photo, c'est "curiosité". Dur, dur de trouver des curiosités à Versailles qui n'ont pas déjà été publiées sur ce blog  par votre dévouée servitrice, depuis largement plus de six ans qu'il existe ! Au demeurant, il aurait fallu la payer très, très cher pour qu'elle se rendre au château en plein mois d'août (!) et elle eut donc l'idée d'aller en quête de l'hôtel du Parc aux Cerfs, rue d'Anjou, qu'elle photographia un lundi tempétueux d'août. Tout le quartier Saint-Louis est construit sur l'ancienne réserve de chasse de Louis XIII et Louis XIV. Madame de Pompadour, favorite de Louis XV, après la fin de sa liaison physique avec le roi en 1752, installa, dans une demeure de ce quartier, des femmes, souvent très jeunes, qui y étaient entretenues pour satisfaire la concupiscence du roi. Ce qu'il en reste de nos jours ? Pas grand chose, si ce n'est cet hôtel et cette plaque. Il y aurait un souterrain, dit-on, passé la première porte à droite de la deuxième photo ci-dessous... Pour voir les interprétations du thème dans des villes du monde entier, c'est par là ! Bonne rentrée aux plus jeunes et bon mois de septembre à tous !
Hôtel du Parc aux Cerfs Versailles rue d'Anjou
Hôtel du Parc aux Cerfs Versailles rue d'Anjou
Hôtel du Parc aux Cerfs Versailles rue d'Anjou
Oh and lest VDP forgets, it is said that the delightful model for François Boucher's no less delightful painting, Resting Girl, was Marie-Louise O'Murphy, one of the residents of the Parc aux Cerfs... The information as to the identity of the young girl seems to have been given by no less than Casanova himself!

Ah et avant que VDP n'oublie, il semblerait, selon Casanova, que le délicieux modèle de la non moins délicieuse œuvre de François Boucher soit Marie-Louise O'Murphy, l'une des résidentes du Parc aux Cerfs...
François Boucher Louise O'Murphy
There are two versions painted by Boucher. Which one do you prefer?

Laquelle des deux versions de Boucher préférez-vous ?
François Boucher Louise O'Murphy

31 comments:

William Kendall said...

Ooo la la! I think I prefer the first one.

Of course Louis would have had himself plenty of illegitimate offspring to hide! How kingly.

Geoff Wilkinson said...

I'm shocked, what can I say, who'd have thought it in a French court, hidden tunnels, mistresses... ooh la la

RedPat said...

I prefer the rich colours of the first painting! Such a curious story, Ciel!

Lois said...

I think I prefer the second one, but only because of the pink on the bed covers and the pillow. Quite an interesting post for the theme. I like it!

Revrunner said...

And Casanova would have known, I'm sure. :-)

Michelle said...

Well....the first one!

Sharon Anck said...

That is a curious story for sure. Boucher must have been the Hugh Hefner of his time! Great post.

OJ said...

Merci pour le post tres interessant!
OJ

Susan Bauer said...

Well done, Madame. You always go above and beyond and as a result, I come away a bit more edified. Merci!

Cezar and Léia said...

Hi Ciel!
A tunnel! Oh la la...I could imagine many stories around this theme! ;)
Cool one!
The paintings are adorable, so romantic feeling! I guess I like more the second one.
Love the view of the street in cobblestones, love the perspective!
Have a nice day! Here is raining cats and dogs this morning!
Léia

Josette T said...

je ne connaissais pas la seconde qui me semble encore plus sensuelle !

Gerald (SK14) said...

a fascinating story - I love the rich colours of the first painting but the second seems slightly more erotic but I'm not quite sure why.

Stefan Jansson said...

Intriguing story. I like the darker painting the best.

llandudnopictures said...

She does look very 'restful'... I like the colours of the first one best.

Kate said...

Those royals certainly led a busy life!

EG CameraGirl said...

I like the version with the richer colours. So much history and mystery surrounding royal romances!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

A tale of intrigue and passion, how very francaise, j'adore! I think I prefer the first painting Ciel, richer in colour and definition.

VP said...

An interesting story and two lovely paintings. Not much difference between the painting, but I think the Cologne version is slightly better...

Birdman said...

Happy School Days... always another year.
Painting: the first one seems much more real to me.

Small City Scenes said...

Verrrrry interrrestinggg!!!!
I like the second painting--more like a painting.
Such shocking details---ahh the French.
MB

Karl Demetz said...

I also prefer the first one.

Lowell said...

I'm ever more curious about all this and secret doors and want to find out more. How can I get a room at this French hotel that is not a hotel but a deep and dark mystery?

Your question has no mystery for the first painting is by far the superior one. (As if I knew anything about old French paintings!)

Halcyon said...

Very curious. I have a slight preference for the first painting. It has a bit more shadows.
I would not have known today was the king's death day. Interesting that it is still remembered.

Thérèse said...

Difficile à choisir entre les deux peintures, ce serait la seconde si il y avait eu moins de rose…
Par contre j’ai beaucoup aimé ta description du quartier des « coquines. »

Loree said...

Interesting piece of information. Both paintings are beautiful. The first is more atmospheric, the second more joyful somehow - if that makes sense.

Peter van den Besselaar said...

Good entry! Too many people think this is curious, but a beautiful nude woman, is very common since Eve. Ha!

Tahiti Daily Photo said...

Fort intéressant cet article. Je vote pour la première version.

Linda said...

Well, the first one is more realistic... but I don't know. I just find the pose a little uncomfortable looking.

LOLfromPasa said...

Enjoyed the story and your additional links and I too like the first painting best.

Jack said...

No question. The first of the two bedroom portraits is superior. Were there other photos???

22bb3f66-7671-11e3-bf04-000bcdcb471e said...

Interesting, in the first image our lady has been reading the open book and the roses are between her legs on the floor (since she is deflowered?), the colors are strong and full of contrast - esp. in the brocade of the couch- and the wall paneling shows square shapes.
In the second image there is a cushion, an incense burner (no education here), a rose colored sheet lies on the subdued couch - concealing the wooden ornament above the middle foot, there is a round panel behind the round form of her buttocks, and her flowers are on the floor below her belly.
Each picture is individual and I would not say one is "better" than the other. One looks like an extremely realistic oil painting, the other like watercolor and ink - sort of impressionistic.