A masked ball at the Palace of Versailles. Engraving by Charles Nicolas Cochin.
This took place in 1745 to celebrate the marriage of the Dauphin of France to Maria Teresa Rafaela; the daughter of King Phillip V of Spain. This is the same ball of which I posted an original invitaion for last night. Pretty cool; me thinks.
The work is laden with symbolism: The figure in the centre represents truth — surrounded by bright light (the central symbol of the Enlightenment). Two other figures on the right, reason and philosophy, are tearing the veil from truth.
Charles Nicolas Cochin II (Detail of title page engraving); Livre nouveau, ou, Regles des cinq ordres d'architecture / par Jacques Barozzio de Vignole ; nouvellement revù, corrigé et augmenté par Monsieur B, Architecte du roy; Avec plusieurs morceaux de Miche-Ange, Vitruve, Mansard, et autres célebres architectes tant anciens que modernes; le tout d'après Mrs. Blondel, Cochin et Babel, graveurs [Barozzi da Vignola / Jacques-François Blondel]; c. 1757.
A performance of Rameau’s La princesse de Navarre on 23 February 1745 in the theatre of the Grande Écurie, Versailles, as part of the celebrations of the marriage of the dauphin Louis to Maria Teresa of Spain.
Madame Denis was the daughter of Voltaire’s sister. In 1737, Voltaire assisted in arranging the marriage of his niece, and assumed financial responsibility for her upon the premature death of her husband in 1744. ~After Madame de Châtelet’s death in 1749, Voltaire went to Paris and then accepted an invitation to live in Prussia with Frederick the Great. He stayed at Frederick’s court for several years and Madame Denis refused to join him there. ~Voltaire left Prussia and purchased a home near Geneva, Switzerland. Madame Denis joined him there and the couple remained together until Voltaire’s death. ~Voltaire was in love with his niece, and though they did not marry, they lived as a married couple. Marie Louise was hostess to the many people who visited Voltaire’s château at Ferney. Upon Voltaire’s death in 1778, Madame Denis inherited the bulk of his estate. Preferring the society of Paris, she sold the château and returned to Paris.