Monday, 22 October 2007

Marie Antointette ~ An international round robin

Back in early July 2007 I was invited to join a round robin art journal on the theme of Marie Antoinette with 3 lovely girls from across the oceans. Natasha in Australia, Holly and Heather from America and me in England making the group of 4 girls. The essence of the round robin would be that unlike other journals this one would travel 3 continents, Europe, America and Australasia. Each girl will fill in 4 pages of their journal and then send off to the next girl. We will all end up with our own art journals featuring all 4 girls work, showing our interpretation of the life and loves of Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France.



The journal has a luxurious silk velvet bow, a Fleur De lye's motif on the front of the journal represents the french royal family and is covered in real silver, and the journal is aptly tied with silky ribbon with a crown motif. This picture represents us 4 girls in the court of Versailles, dressed in our finery. I've created a pocket to house 4 cards which will hold information about each of us. Marie Antonia was born in Austria 1755 to Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria and queen of Hungary and Bohemia, and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I. She came from a large happy family.

Our story begins in 1770, at age 14, Marie Antoinette (renamed by the french) left her homeland and travelled to the extremely formal French palace of Versailles to be married to the shy 15 year old Dauphin (crown prince) of France to cement an alliance between Austria and France. I have created Marie Antoinette in a doll like appearance for this first page. An innocent girl wearing her sweet Austrian fashions. She looks across to the pretty bluebird in the gold gilded cage. She admires the beauty of this little bird unaware of the similarities between them.
She wears delicate french linen embellished with dainty jewels and has silky hair tied up with pink bows. Her hat is made from sweet pink velvet, with Japanese papers to imitate the feathers that should have been there (Australian customs rules interfered with my original hat full of feathers and swans down - oh the do's and don'ts with customs lol).Under her skirt are some pretty little velvet shoes with jewels atop. Rumours but are they true? Pages 2 & 3 reflect Marie Antoinette’s lavish lifestyle with rumours of indiscreet liaisons, parties and extravagant spending resulting in a growing resentment among the French people.
The 1785-86 ‘Affair of the Diamond Necklace’, a scandal in which she was accused of having an affair with a cardinal in order to obtain a costly diamond necklace, further discredited her and reflected on the monarchy. Although the queen did not purchase the necklace her name was vilified all over France and led to her downfall.

I have dyed velvet in pale and dark greys and embellished with vintage black jet from old costumes to highlight the dark mood of public opinion towards Marie. The lavish fabrics, papers and jewels highlight the extravagant nature of the court of Versailles.
Marie Antointette was quoted as saying to the starving “if they have no bread let them eat cake” this was not true. For page 3 I have created a lavish display of cakes using creative embroidery techniques, fusing fabric, burning and foiling, using velvets and sheer fabrics and for the cake stand a decadent real silver glitter.
This last page is quite a poignant one, it is the time of the French Revolution.Marie Antoinette was a devoted mother, and of the 4 children that she bared only 2 survived. As Marie matured she became less extravagant softening her image by wearing simple gowns and posing for portraits with her children, but her efforts had little effect on the unforgiving public. Her unpopularity helped lead to the overthrow of the monarchy when Parisian's stormed the Tuileries palace on Aug. 10, 1792. The family were imprisoned.
From being a doll like image arriving at Versailles, Marie Antoinette is now a real woman.


She is a devoted mother and clutches pictures of her 2 children, knowing her fate and that she will never see her children again. The red wax seal stamp depicts the Fleur De lye representing the royal house of France with the little crown indicating that this is the French queen who is being led to madam guillotine.
Louis XVI was executed in January 1793, and Marie Antoinette was executed on October 16 of that year. She was charged with aiding the enemy and inciting civil war. Her son died in prison of Tuberculosis and her daughter, the only survivor was married a French Duke.

The muse for this page is one of my daughters, posing with a skirt to give the flow of the dress, and embellished with vintage ribbon, lace and Japanese lacy paper with vintage french sheet music as a background reflecting the glad feelings of the French people (although the music translates as the cross king). The hair is curly sheep’s wool and I have deliberately kept it undecorated to emphasis the less extravagant image of the queen in this period of her life.
I chose to finish my pages with a memorial to Marie Antoinette. I have deliberately chosen torn scraps of pretty french fabric as a background symbolising the royalty stripped of their finery, with a floral wreath with vintage flowers and trim from a vintage petticoat, broken jewels a silver heart representing the loves that were lost and a little plaque to remember.Her initials hang below in gold to emphasise the importance of her position.

Marie Antoinette the last Queen of France.

(See Flickr on the side bar - you can enlarge pictures for better look)

58 comments:

Vintage to Victorian said...

My word Ginny, what a lot of work, but what an amazing result. A fantastic 'heirloom'!
Sue x

KarenHarveyCox said...

This work is totally magnificent. The Fashion Institute in New York City would think so too. What truly beautiful work. I am so glad that I found you on flickr and I added your lovely blog to my blog too. You must feel so pleased. You know Ginny, Romantic Home Magazine writes about blogs and art like yours. On my blog is a link to Bella Pink, she writes for Romantic Home Magazine and is always looking for blogs. Perhaps you should send her your address...especially when you have this magnificent post here. Blessings, Karen

Lori said...

Ginny, oh my goodness!!! your work for the Maire Antoinette round robin is beyond spectacular! the details are just gorgeous and breathtaking! all i can say is: "wow, Wow, WOW!!!"

Natasha Burns said...

Ginny WOW!!!!! oh my gosh what a wonderful surprise to wake up to! I am going to have to come back and study each pic, i am so excited it will be arriving in the mail soon and i can ooh and aaah over it! those gowns and all your details are so spectacular!!!

Jenn and Jacqui said...

Hi Ginny, we have been following your round robin through Natasha. Your work is stunning!! Aboslutely beautiful :) We want one!! It's truly beautiful, Ginny!! Have a lovely day!! Jenn and Jacqui xo

Carol said...

OMG Ginny I just come over from flickr where I saw the pictures of your wonderful Marie-Antoinette book and I'm almost speechless of the amazingly work you did.

It is too beautiful for words and I'm head over heels in love with it! Stunning! I want it too it's just so F A N T A S T I C!

Carol xox

P.S. Hope you'll get my parcel today!

The Rose Room said...

Absolutely and utterly beautiful. A fitting tribute to the beautiful and tragic Marie. Take Care - Rachael

Scrappy Jessi said...

WOWWW!!!!! that is amazing.
absolutly gorgeous!!! eye candy!!
fabulous.
jessi nagy

Heather ~ Pretty Petals said...

Ginny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH I am so happy to see your book!! It is so fabulous just like I knew it would be!!! I love each and every single detail. It is so beatiful and I love how you told the story along the way. Such talent you have!!! That one of her becoming a woman is just amazing. I can tell you agonized over ever detail and such care went into every page. I love your use of such lavish fabrics too. Can't wait to see your book and hold it in my hands!

xo Heather

p.s.- thank you so much for your email about my Grandfather...I can't tell you how much it means to me. You were right...it was nice to come here and smile today!!!

Donna Layton said...

I have now seen all the pages from this incredible round robin. I've only seen Holly's cover actually. Your pages are extraordinary. All you women did a fabulous job with this. I love the way you researched the true Marie and incorporated the history into your art. I've always found Marie Antoinette to be one of history's most tragic figures. So very misunderstood and to be remembered for saying something so heartless which she never said is so wrong. I'm thrilled to have found your blog! I shall be back and I shall put you on my blog roll!!

Sea Angels said...

Wow! Ginny but what can you follow that with?..... gosh it is truly stunning, and how fab to have to keep, you are a seriously talented lady.
Can you autograph your next comment on my blog please, somthing I can show around as you become famous xxxx Hugs Lynn xx

Whimsy Pink said...

What a darling little book!

karen benson said...

This book is stunning!!!
I soooo wish I could find a swap like this! ENJOY!!
karen b...

twinkleshabbystar said...

Ginny,
I am in AWE of your work! The details and workmanship you have put into these pages are truly magnificant! Stunning & gorgeous!!!! You have done an excellent job capturing Marie's life and image in your pages. This round robin book that all four of you have worked so hard on has obviously been a TRUE labor of love. It is a delightful vision for us all to view! Thank you for sharing!!!
XO,Jenn

Handplockat said...

Totally Love your Work And Blogg

hugs from north of sweden

Sweet Remembrance said...

I am speechless...
Your work is no less than fabulous!
Priscilla

Alison Gibbs said...

Wow this is spectacular.
Alison

melissa @ the inspired room said...

Your work is absolutely beautiful! This is my first visit here and I am amazed!

Wendy said...

Dear Ginny

All the words I would use for your book have all been expressed already. Though how magical you have captivated this inspirational Woman of courage.

How very gifted you are I am truly
grateful to be able to view your work from the other side of the world.

Always Wendy :)

Faye 'Country Chic' said...

Absolutely stunning, a true work of art! I would love to have that book.
xFaye

She'sSewPretty said...

Beautiful! Beautiful! Bravo!

theredvelvetshoe said...

What a beautiful post! So much talent and creativity!

Wonderful!
Michelle

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

That book is just amazing. What a wonderful work of art. It was fun to look at as well as to read the history. Thanks for sharing!

toothfairy said...

I sat in amazement as I read the detailed descriptions and viewed the exquisite artwork for Marie A. you are a phenomenal artist! This work should be seen by many and appreciated by all. What a little jewel to enjoy. Thanks for giving us a peek at history and fine artwork too! Have a blessed day! Jan @daylilylane

Tiffany said...

Only one word... stunning.

Caleen said...

IT IS A WORK OF ART!! JUST BEAUTIFUL
AND IT MUST HAVE TAKEN ALOT OF TIME.
THE FINISHED OUTCOME IS WORTH IT ALL!!
I HOPE YOU CAN DISPLAY THIS SOMEWHERE
THAT OTHERS CAN ADMIRE IT AND ENJOY
THE BEAUTY OF IT... I ENJOYED LOOKING
AND YOU DID AN AMAZING JOB!!!

Pattie Donham said...

oh my! your images are truly stunning, and simply beautiful. I take that back...there is NOTHING simple about them. they are extraordinary and filled with a rich offering of eye candy. Thanks for sharing the beauty of it all. Pattiewack

Ragged Roses said...

I have loved reading all these Marie Antoinette posts. all the work has been so beautiful. Your work is just amazing Ginny
Kim x

Clare said...

Hi Ginny,

Wow, such an amazing amount of beautiful and creative work. How talented you are!

Clare x

Wild Rose said...

Wow Ginny, you must have spent hours on this journal. It is so detailed and beautiful.

Marie x

Les said...

Oh my! This is amazing! What a lot of work and devotion! It's incredibly beautiful... What a great amount of talent you have. I love Marie Antoinette! Great weblog also! xxxx

Vintage Blue Studio said...

Wow wow WOW! That was amazing! I must have gone back and looked at those pictures 5 times! Really wonderful work and very inspiring!

Diana

FrenchGardenHouse said...

oh my!!! Your work is totally stunning. absolutely stunning.
so incredibly beautiful.

Thanks so much for visiting me for my 100th post give away...I am glad I visited you today, it has been a total treat.
xo Lidy

Shabby Roses Boutique said...

Hi Ginny,
WOW, you have done such a wonderful job with your book! Every page is amazing!!!
And I love the story that you told along with it, because I honestly didn't know all of that.
Can't wait to see the books when they are completed.
Kathy :)

Shawn said...

Found you through flickr. This is AMAZING! Would you ever consider allowing images from your work to be included in a blog banner design? I do a little blog design work on the side and I have someone who would love to include some Marie Antoinette elements in her banner. That's how I came across your work. :) If you're interested at all maybe we could work out a trade if you ever wanted any blog design work done, although I love the twinkles. :) Anyway, this probably sounds like a crazy request. LOL Either way I'm glad i stumbled across your blog. I'll definitely be adding you to my bloglines. :)

~Shawn
my email (just in case) :)
shawn@eclecticwhimsydesigns.com

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

What an incredible work of art Ginny - And what a creative mind you have - I would not have know where to start!! I don't know how you can bare to part with your work!

I particularly loved the smokey grey velvet gown and all the embellishments.

Inspirational!! Well done!
Niki x

Shelly @ thePINKbarn said...

Wow....I loved reading your post and seeing your beautiful work that you've done! Amazing! Thanks for sharing!

Adla said...

Such delightful creations. I love the cake tier... it looks artistically delicious.

Adla at www.vintagedelights.blogspot.com

Sea Angels said...

Hi Ginny, I am so pleased you liked them, you are right though there are so many fab blogs and real talent.....well just take a look at your work,,,for example but it really gives your day a lift to look at someone else. Have a super week end
Hugs Lynn xx

Holly Stinnett said...

I'm so glad I found your wonderful blog (through your flickr account)! I love your Marie art... it's stunning... really gorgeous work!

I hope you're having a wonderful, creative weekend... keep up the beautiful work.

Holly
Los Angeles, CA

Pearl Maple said...

Am having great fun watching this rr from the sidelines and seeing how creative you girls are being with the theme.

Reflections from the Stone Nest said...

Ginny,

That is just fabulous! I enjoyed reading the story, but absolutely adore your art work! You are truly amazing! What a wonderful keepsake. Your symbolism is fantastic!

Kitty

Erin D. said...

AMAZING!!! I love it, it's so beautiful!! Wow, what detail, and all the story behind it, you did a lot of hard work! Lovely! :O)

Cheryl said...

Ginny....I'm speechless. This is INCREDIBLE. You really must submit this to Somerset or something. You are an amazing artist and this is so, so beautiful and so inspiring. I make fabric "books" but nothing like this. Wow. WOW! I am in awe!!!

Rose Garden Romantic said...

The book is amazing!! Just gorgeous!!
Michelle

Joy said...

This is truly incredible. I am at a loss for words!

purple cucumbers folk art said...

Will be giving this painting away in a drawing on Dec .10th darlings along with 7 prints,that will be 8 drawings,1 orginal and 7 prints,so come leave y'alls blog for the drawing,it had some papers from magazine and vintage mica.

Gina said...

Love that top journal, drool.

Gina said...

incredible, what you do is mind blowing.

Saucy said...

I am breathless, speechless about this gorgeous work. It combines oh so much of my very favourite things: Marie Antoinette, blogging, art books, collage, and swapping. I am truly so envious right now I could just fade away.

I think I will just sit and lookie at your photos all night long.

Tutti Chic said...

What an awesome post!! your work is incredible & the story fascinating! I've enjoyed it so much! You definatley should contact tara about your blog!! I'm going to tell her about it-it's so unique & pretty!

Stink Bone Jones said...

I am addicted to your blog! I LOVE Marie Antoinette and all things Shabby Chic. Do you have an Etsy shop? I didnt' see it anywhere if you did. Here is my blog if you would love to read Marie Antoinette things.


http://hjcompton270.blogspot.com/

Stink Bone Jones said...

Where did this amazingly breathtaking Marie Antoinette book end up? I read and read but didn't see! It is so lovely1

Stink Bone Jones said...

Can you leave me a comment on my blog and tell me how you come by these swaps? I think the tiara and matchbox swap look so neat. I would love to participate in one sometime.

Thanks--Jaime

Adeline Country Cottage said...

Hello Ginny, I have been following this fantastic book that you lady's have been making I just went and visited Natasha, then found the rest of you, you have the most amazing gift, all four of you do, I think that the four of you should publish this book, Because I want to buy one, to have all that amazing details in a the one book, would inspire everyone of this world... Congrates to you and the lady's that have put this beautiful book together....

Warmest regards
Kirstie.....Melbourne "Down under"

ScrappyDandyDoo said...

wow!!!
This is stunning!!
a true inspiration for a project I am thinking about, thank you, I have pinned it to remind me of its beauty!!!
Julie xx

Twinkle Pink said...

So pleased to see all your comments. I hope this historical journal gives you a better understanding of Marie Antoinette and inspires you all to create more.

Some of my work can be seen on Flickr and Pintrest.

Best Wishes to you all Ginny Gibson x

Kasialeria said...

To jest przepiękne!