The Price of Beauty: Embroidery and Louis XIV's Versailles

  • Mar 7, 2019
  • Phone:
  • (703) 570-6903
  • to
  • Times:
  • From: 04:00 PM to 06:00 PM
  • Price:
  • Free - RSVP Required
  • Details

    Join Joan DeJean for a fascinating talk on the history of French embroidery, as discussed in her book "The Queen’s Embroiderer"! In the 1680s, Louis XIV, the wealthiest monarch in Europe, lavished vast resources on a new palace at Versailles. Interior decoration and fashion became the essence of Versailles’ luster, because the Sun King was willing to pay the astronomically high price of the embroidery featured in both. Louis XIV used embroidery to make Versailles gleam, and the Sun King’s court embroiderers made a fortune from their creations, some of the greatest embroidery of all time. This talk will feature images of French court embroidery and will discuss how court embroiderers work.

    Joan DeJean has been Trustee Professor at the University of Pennsylvania since 1988. She previously taught at Yale and at Princeton. She is the author of eleven books on French literature, history, and material culture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including most recently “The Queen’s Embroiderer: A True Story of Lovers, Swindlers, and the First Stock Market Crisis” (2018); “The Invention of Paris: Making the City Modern” (2014); “The Age of Comfort: When Paris Discovered Casual and the Modern Home Began” (2009); “The Essence of Style: How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafés, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour” (2005). She lives in Philadelphia and, when in Paris, around the corner from the house where, in 1612, the story of the Queen’s Embroiderer began.

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The Price of Beauty: Embroidery and Louis XIV's Versailles