Another book in the Ringling Museum Library’s rare book vault that is of great importance to scholars and amateur Francophiles alike is
Le Trianon de Marie-Antoinette by Pierre de Nolhac. Published by Goupil et cie, Manzi, Joyant & cie, succ., Paris, 1914.
This volume is more focused on the history than the collection of prints it contains. The subject matter of the book revolves around the Trianon, the structures and gardens built on the grounds of Versailles commonly remembered as an amusement for Marie Antoinette. She has been criticized through history for using the Trianon as a place to play “dress up” and act like a peasant, or throw lavish parties while the French people were living in squalor.
Illustrations throughout the book offer black and white or sepia toned portraits of Marie Antoinette at several stages in her life, as well as portraits of the men and women who frequented the Trianon during Louis XVI’s reign and Marie Antoinette’s time as the Queen Consort. Illustrations also include different architectural and landscape design elements, including fountains, outdoor baths, reproductions of frescos and other artistic decorations, as well as scenes of parties held on the grounds. The book itself focuses on an extravagance of the most extravagant French Queen Consort. Fashion is a part of Marie Antoinette’s reputation that cannot or will not subside, nor will the accounts of her life at the Trianon. Lifestyle and fashion go hand in hand for Marie Antoinette, as you can see in the following color plates from the volume.