GAMING GARDENS: Vanity and the Comte D’artois’ Bagatelle with Jennifer Milam

Wednesday 7 Mar 2012, 10:15 AM – 11:45 AM

In 1777 the Comte d’Artois played a game with Marie-Antoinette. This youngest brother of Louis XVI bet his sister-in-law 100,000 livres that he could build a château complete with gardens in the time it would take for the Court to return from its annual sojourn at Fontainebleau.

Although several of his fellow noblemen believed it was eminently absurd to attempt to achieve such an undertaking in six or seven weeks, Artois won the wager by completing his pleasure house in just 64 days, the prize helping little to defray building costs of over 3,000,000 livres.

A spectacular example of how agonistic impulses gave rise to patronage in 18th century France, the case of Artois’s Bagatelle demonstrates the links between vanity and artistic culture in 18th century France.

JENNIFER MILAM is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Sydney. Her books include the Historical Dictionary of Rococo Art (2011), Fragonard’s Playful Paintings, Visual Games in Rococo Art (2006) and Women, Art and the Politics of Identity in 18th Century Europe (2003).

This lecture is supported by The Friends of The Johnston Collection.

Comte d’Artois’ Petite Maison, Jardin de Bagatelle, outside Paris

SOLD OUT This event is currently at capacity. If you wish to be added to the waitlist, please email or call The Johnston Collection on (03) 9416 2515 and we will contact you if places become available.