louis xvii

In honour of Mother’s Day, here is one of my favourite portraits of a mother and her children!

It was painted in 1787 by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Marie Antoinette’s official portraitist. It was intended to help restore the Queen’s damaged reputation following the infamous “Affair of the Necklace”, depicting her as the mother of the Children of France. She wears no necklace and her large jewel cabinet is closed behind her, her only jewellery a simple bracelet and earrings. It has echoes of the story of Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, who presented her children when asked to present her true treasures. Louis XVI himself was very pleased with it and praised Madame Le Brun for the portrait. She wrote in her memoirs that he said to her “I know nothing about painting, but you make me like it.”

It originally depicted her with all four of her children, but her youngest daughter, Princess Sophie, died before the portrait was completed. She was originally portrayed lying in the cradle but was painted out after her death, leaving her elder brother Louis Joseph pointing at the empty space she’d occupied, a poignant reminder of the loss of the little girl. After Louis Joseph himself died in 1789, Marie Antoinette could no longer go through the room containing the portrait without crying, and asked for it to be taken away. Madame Lebrun would later write that she was convinced it was due to this request by the Queen that the portrait was preserved, as she was certain the mob who attacked Versailles would have destroyed it.

The portrait is currently on display at the Palace of Versailles once again, in the Antichambre du Grand Couvert, part of the Queen’s Apartments.

(Post by Christy)

"I wish Louis XVI & Nicholas II at least sent their children away to somewhere safe during the revolutions in their countries, if they didn’t plan to escape. It’s understandable that they wanted to stay together as a family but history shows that it’s a wrong decision. Louis XVI’s children were tortured and the young Louis XVII died; the Romanov children were murdered. It’s too painful to even read about it."

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I pray to the sky for forgiveness
For those who suffered
Under the weight of my crown
I was only a mother.

Louis Charles also liked to make his sister smile. Sometimes, during her lessons, when she could not recall a fact, he would whisper something sweet to rid her of her frustration. The two were inseparable, and Marie Therese took on a very protective and maternal role toward her youngest brother, treating him like her own baby. She doted on him and indulged him, petted and pampered him like a favoured doll.

Marie-Therese, Child of Terror: The Fate of Marie Antoinette’s Daughter - Susan Nagel

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→ Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and their children

Madame Fille du Roi, the main preoccupations of Marie Antoinette were not political.Her chief joy was in the precocious development of her daughter. Marie Therese had the big blue eyes and healthy complexion that in babies make for admiration. She was also tall and strong, walking in her basketwork stroller by the time she was eight months old and shouting out, “Papa, Papa.” These preferential cries did not offend her mother; on the contrary she was delighted that father and daughter were in this way linked more strongly. As for Marie Antoinette, she could hardly love her more than she did , the child who was “mine”.

Visual kei, Kamijo, and the French Revolution

Can I sound off for a second about how one of my favorite musicians ever is obsessed with French History, particularly the French Revolution?

Kamijo is a sexually ambiguous Japanese singer (and producer!) who is all about visual kei (‘visual style’, an aesthetic and subcultural movement that tends to involve androgynous looks elaborate costumes paired along with music, usually some form of rock music…also there’s a trend toward homoeroticism as well as crossdressing). He’s pretty into historical-inspired fashion, vampires, and French history (particularly the 18th century).

He was the lead singer in a visual kei rock band called Lareine beginning during the mid-90s.

(music video of their song 'Fiancailles')

They called themselves Lareine because of Marie Antoinette. Another Frev connection— they did a cover of the intro to Riyoko Ikeda’s anime Rose of Versailles, ‘bara wa utsukushiku chiru’, and she ever drew the cover art for the single. Also Kamijo looks like Oscar.

Later in the 2000s Kamijo co-founded a visual kei symphonic metal band called Versailles. He became the leader singer for Versailles. They were all about vampires and aristocrats and well Versailles.

(link to the music video for their song ‘Ascendead Master’)

(yes they’re all men)

THEY. WERE. CALLED. VERSAILLES. Many of their costumes were inspired by rococo stylings. I mean obviously there are twists and lovely exaggerations, but there is definite inspiration going on there.

Anyway these days Kamijo is solo, and his first solo single was called Louis. Initially I thought the name was inspired by Lestat and Louis since Kamijo is all into vampires and Interview with the Vampire. But it’s more than that!

He literally means Louis XVII.

In the music video there are paintings of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVII.

(the music video to Louis)

Kamijo is playing Louis XVII. The story is that he survived the French Revolution as A VAMPIRE.

Kamijo said in an interview:

What is the new single about? Could you please tell us more about the stories behind Louis and Grazioso?

KAMIJO: The story is based on my idea of what if there was an immortal vampire during the French Revolution and he actually had contact with Louis XVII, who was held captive at the Tour du Temple (The Paris Temple).

Is Louis part of a large, ongoing story like your previous releases? If so, could you please describe it for our readers?

KAMIJO: Yes, that’s exactly how it is. Louis is only part of an altered history. This is the beginning of a grand vampire chronicle that will tweak human history to a rosy tint.

(source)

Also Kamijo’s wish in life

If you could go back in time, where and when would you like to go and what would you do there?


KAMIJO: I would go back in time to save Louis XVII who was imprisoned during the French revolution. (source)

Fun fact: in this storyline Louis/Kamijo has a friend named Ludwig (who is basically Beethoven) who is saves Louis/Kamijo from execution and teaches him about music. All of this storyline is told in a 7-piece movement that was put together as a mini-movie vampire-story thingy called Symphony of the Vampire.

(sidenote they touch hands in the video and basically somehow Kamijo has made Louis XVII and Beethoven kinda gay vampires because why not)

One more thing: one of his latest solo singles includes a song called Bastille. From an interview:

KAMIJO: “BASTILLE” is an intense song. When I say “Destroy,” you say “BASTILLE” at live shows.

(link to the song)

I. Am. Done.

Can I be there for that?!?! I saw Versailles live once during 2008. But I like need to see Kamijo solo because he connects so much with my interests oh my gosh. There’s gay, and there’s French Revolution. I’ve also been a massive fan of visual kei for years now. Now if only Kamijo could become aware of Saint-Just’s existence.

To conclude I leave you with this image I found on Google: