« Journal de ce qui s’est passé à Versailles depuis l’instant de l’arrivée de Monsieur le comte et de Madame la comtesse du Nord, jusqu’à celui de leur départ »

Bulletin du Centre de Recherche du Château de Versailles. 2006; DOI 10.4000/crcv.12396

 

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Journal Title: Bulletin du Centre de Recherche du Château de Versailles

ISSN: 1958-9271 (Print)

Publisher: Centre de Recherche du Château de Versailles

LCC Subject Category: Fine Arts: Arts in general: History of the arts | History (General) and history of Europe: History of France

Country of publisher: France

Language of fulltext: French, English

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Anonyme

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Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

The journey of the “count” and the “countess of the North” (aliases used by the Grand Duke Paul of Russia and his wife Maria Feodorovna) across Europe in 1781–82 has been the object of a considerable number of writings that vary both in genre and their target audience. Within this corpus, the “Journal de ce qui s’est passé à Versailles depuis l’instant de l’arrivée de Monsieur le comte et de Madame la comtesse du Nord, jusqu’à celui de leur départ” (Paris, Archives Nationales, O1 824, fol. 80r-90r,) is one of the main reference sources, tracing the history of the Russian royal couple’s stay at the French court between 20 May and 19 June 1782. Through its systematic and detailed narrative of facts, this text clarifies the timeline of this “incognito” visit, its specific protocol, as well as the cultural and social programme intended for the royal couple. Opening with the presentation ceremony of the “illustrious travellers” to the king of France and the royal family, the report recounts all the major stages of the visit, such as the concert in the Grand Gallery of Versailles, the dinner and illumination of the gardens at the Petit Trianon on 6 June 1782, and the grand ball held in the château’s theatre on 8 June 1782. The “Journal” is not limited to solmen courtly events, but also records moments of leisure and interactions of a more private nature: meals, especially those with the royal family, walks in the gardens of Versailles, and guided tours of the king’s collections. Additionally, the information provided by the text helps outline the network of contacts that the crowned Russian travellers and the members of their entourage managed to establish at the French royal court, which leads to enriching our view of courtly exchanges in Europe during the eighteenth century.