duc de choiseul

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink:

“Presumed Portrait of the Duc de Choiseul and Two Companions”, ca. 1775, Jacques Wilbaut, The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Pink and brown look great together, but pink and green is even better.

But, who were these stylish people? Well the one in fashionable green is the Duc de Choiseul (who was known for being "a wonderful mixture of selfishness and charm and recklessness and exquisite taste”), the woman in pink is his mistress, Madamme de Brionne and the man in brown is the Abbé Barthélemy who was the curator of the king Louis XV’s collection of antiquities.

The three of them were close friends and the portrait made in a simple informal setting we can see their exquisite fashion taste and the affection they share.

Are these your squad goals? I bet they are.


historical anecdotes ❈ marie antoinette and the duc de choiseul upon her arrival in france

“As the Dauphine stepped out of her carriage on to the ceremonial carpet that had been laid down, it was the Duc de Choiseul, who was given the privilege of the first salute. Presented with the Duc by Prince Starhemberg, Marie Antoinette exclaimed: ‘I shall never forget that you are responsible for me happiness!’ ‘And that of France,’ replied Choiseul smoothly.” - Antonia Fraser (Marie Antoinette: The Journey)

On the afternoon of Monday, the 14th of May, she quit it for Compiègne, which the king and all the court had reached in the course of the morning. As she approached the town she was met by the minister, the Duc de Choiseul, and he was the precursor of Louis himself, who, accompanied by the dauphin and his daughters, and escorted by his gorgeous company of the guards of the household,  had driven out to receive her. She and all her train dismounted from their carriages. Her master of the horse and her “knight of honour” took her by the hand and conducted her to the royal coach. She sunk on her knee in the performance of her respectful homage; but Louis promptly raised her up, and, having embraced her with a tenderness which gracefully combined royal dignity with paternal affection, and having addressed her in a brief speech, which was specially acceptable to her, as containing a well-timed compliment to her mother, introduced her to the dauphin; and, when they reached the palace, he also presented to her his more distant relatives, the princes and princesses of the blood, the Duc d'Orléans and his son, the Duc de Chartres, destined hereafter to prove one of the foulest and most mischievous of her enemies; the Duc de Bourbon, the Princes of Condé and Conti, and one lady whose connection with royalty was Italian rather than French, but to whom the acquaintance, commenced on this day, proved the cause of a miserable and horrible death, the beautiful Princesse de Lamballe.
—  Memoirs of Marie Antoinette - Madame Campan

Happy Birthday to…!

Étienne-François, Comte de Stainville, duc de Choiseul (1719)

A French military officer, diplomat and statesman. Between 1758 and 1761, and 1766 and 1770, he was Foreign Minister of France and had a strong influence on France’s global strategy throughout the period. He is closely associated with France’s defeat in the Seven Years War and subsequent efforts to rebuild French prestige. Choiseul gained the favour of Madame de Pompadour and after a short time he was given the appointment of ambassador to Rome in 1753. He was one of the principal authors of the Second Treaty of Versailles signed in May 1757.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712)

A Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism of French expression. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought. His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship. His sentimental novel Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse was of importance to the development of pre-romanticism and romanticism in fiction. Rousseau’s autobiographical writings — his Confessions, initiated the modern autobiography. His Discourse on the Origin of Inequality and his On the Social Contract are cornerstones in modern political and social thought.

John Wesley (1703)

Anglican cleric and Christian theologian. Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement which began when he took to open-air preaching in a similar manner to George Whitefield. In contrast to George Whitefield’s Calvinism, Wesley embraced the Arminian doctrines that were dominant in the 18th-century Church of England. Wesley’s teachings, known as Wesleyanism, provided the seeds for the modern Methodist movement, the Holiness movement, Pentecostalism, the Charismatic Movement, and Neo-charismatic churches, which encompass numerous denominations across the world.