Got my mini Princesse de Lamballe in the mail today. <3
The seller said it was 18th Century, but I kind of doubt that (both from the pictures they posted on ebay and from looking at it now in real life). I’m thinking more 19th Century? Because it was popular to wear jewellery with portraits of the French Royal family for a time, and I’ve seen 19th C. necklaces with Lamballe in museums before.
Happy Birthday today, September 8th, to both Yolande Gabrielle Martine de Polastron (The Duchesse de Polignac) and Marie Louise of Savoy (The Princesse de Lamballe), the two closest friends of Marie Antoinette.
Dalle memorie di Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun: “Nello stesso periodo feci anche il ritratto della Principessa di Lamballe. Non era graziosa, ma poteva sembrarlo a una certa distanza; aveva lineamenti minuti, colorito splendente di freschezza, superbi capelli biondi e molta eleganza in tutta la persona. L'orribile fine di questa Principessa è abbastanza nota, così come l'abnegazione di cui diede prova; nel 1793, infatti, era a Torino, al sicuro, ma volle rientrare in Francia non appena seppe che la Regina era in pericolo." Il ritratto in questione, datato 1782, è stato acquisito dallo Château de Versailles nel 2011. Il dipinto ritrae la principessa di Lamballe, che all'epoca aveva 33 anni, in un abito molto in voga in quel periodo: una chemise a la reine, cioè un vestito leggero in mussola bianca ornato solamente da un cappello di paglia e da un nastro in vita. Nello stesso periodo anche la Regina e l'altra sua cara amica Madame de Polignac si fecero ritrarre proprio in queste vesti.
Sorry for the long absence, faithful readers (slash reader, au singulier…hi mom!), life has been busy! I finally started work last week after being here for two and a half weeks, and it feels good to have some structure in my life again. Last Monday I went into school to meet my contact person and observe one of his classes. I also met some of the rest of the English department, figured out how the cafeteria works, met the German and Spanish assistants at my school (who are both really nice), and got my schedule; Thursday I began work for real for real. Although many assistants work at two or even three schools (which are often not even the same level - I have a friend here working in two écoles primaires and a lycée) I’m lucky to have all of my hours at one school. It’s simpler, schedule-wise (the German assistant is currently scheduled to work at something like 20 hours a week [despite the fact that we’re contractually only allowed to work for 12] between her two schools and be in two different places at once multiple times throughout the week…Germans tend to be punctual, but I don’t think even they can figure out a way around that) and it means that I only have to figure out the photocopiers at one institution.
As far as actual teaching goes, last week was spent introducing myself to my classes and having them ask questions about myself and life in the States in general (…as well as “what’s your phone number?” Oi vey), but this week I’ll be in charge of actually organizing lessons in some of my classes. I’ll either be working alongside a teacher with the whole class or taking charge of half the group and working with them in another room which the professeur remains with the other half, which is pretty intimidating given that “half a class” sometimes translates to “17 restless French teenagers”. The range of skill and level of interest is also going to be a challenge: I have native English speakers, kids in the lycée professionnel part of the school (which is more like a vocational school and specializes in teaching mechanics in my lycée’s case) who don’t see a point in learning English, and every gradient in between. The trick is going to be coming up with lessons that can accommodate and interest all of my students…I’ll let you know how that goes.
Pictured: Since I’m commuting from Saint-Brieuc to Lamballe for work, I’m somewhat at the mercy of the train schedule and sometimes have to get up pretty early to catch my train to school. Although the downside is that I have to wake up at 6h15 on Thursdays and Fridays, the good news is that the sun doesn’t come up until 8 am here so I get to watch the sunrise on my way to work. I didn’t think it was possible, but Lamballe somehow manages to look even more picturesque than it normally does at that time of day.