Saturday, April 13, 2019

What They Said Saturday: "Fatigued by the splendors of art, I turn to nature..."

'What They Said' Saturday: a day for quotations of all kinds, including excerpts from letters written by Marie Antoinette and her contemporaries, memoirs, non-fiction, novels and everything in between.

image: the hameau de la reine in August 1967/credit: Daniel Villafruela/CC BY-SA 3.0, no modifications

The recent restoration work done on the hameau de la Reine has sparked new focus on the charming, picturesque hamlet that Marie Antoinette cultivated during her final years at Versailles. But it is not only modern visitors who are charmed by its roaming trails and carefully planned foliage.

Nikolay Karamzin, a visitor who was able to tour the hameau de la reine during those last waning years of the French monarchy, wrote touchingly of the estate:

"I advance and I see hills, fields, meadows, herds, a grotto. Fatigued by the splendors of art, I turn to nature; I find myself, my heart, my imagination; I breathe, inhaling the perfumed air of the evening, gazing at the setting sun … I would like to stop it in its course, in order to remain longer at Trianon."

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