Sunday, 9 November 2008

Goddess of the hunt


At the age of ten, Marie-Adelaïde de Savoie (born 1685), daughter of Anne-Marie d’Orléans and Victor Amedée de Savoie, was betrothed to Louis XIV’s grandson, Louis, Duke of Burgundy. She was sent to Versailles so as to learn her proper role as the future Dauphine and Queen. Louis XIV declared that she was to be the First Lady of Versailles, and he loved his granddaughter-in- law dearly. She reinvigorated the life of the aging king and enchanted the court. She was doll-like; some courtiers referred to her as a "walking doll". It was said that Louis XIV has not loved anyone as much as he loved Marie-Adelaide. Other members of the court called her a plaything. Adélaïde was taught well on how to please the King and did her best to amuse him at all times. In her letters to her family, she frequently wrote of her love for the King and his kindness to her. Her marriage to the Duc de Bourgogne, took place on 7 th December 1697. She was twelve ( legal age of marriage ) and he fifteen. The two were very much in love, a rarity at the court of Versailles. On 14th April 1711, her father-in-law died. Her husband became the Dauphin and she his Dauphine. Both she and her husband fell ill in early 1712 and died within six days of each other from an illness, thought to be smallpox. Her second son died the same year from the same disease. Her son, Louis, became King Louis V. The marble sculpture in the picture shows her as a light hearted goddess of the hunt. Note the just as light hearted little dog! The sculptor, Antoine Coysevox, enjoyed the patronage of Louis XIV and produced a great many the sculptures, fountains and garden statues for the vast gardens at the Chateau of Versailles. His Winged Horses, at the entrance to the Tuileries Gardens, as well as his portraits and memorial sculptures are all part of his extensive work.

4 comments:

jmb said...

A very lovely different post from usual Eurodog. So sad for them to die so young like that.

Violets new Vintage said...

Beautiful statue and interesting post!

Winchester whisperer said...

But Artemis/Diana was also the symbol of chastity

Eurodog said...

Well, I also read that Mare-Adelaïde sought Madame de Maintenon's advice on certain matters.