Reason is essentially beautiful and thus can never take (strictly my opinion) another human form than a woman’s.

Reason is individually defined and never in danger to be universally expelled from life, hence the title (‘La Décapitation de la Dame-Raison’) merely adverts to personal loss of logic metaphorically depicted as a Renaissance style beheading.

The majestic charm reason exerts beyond its use rests in the graceful sinuation of the road one must cross in its pursuit. This path is the teacher without whose assistance rarely can one achieve a genuine understanding of one’s mind, the sole way to conquer sound judgement itself. Higher than reason lays its experience.

The above sort of philosophical musings,condensed between Christmas frenzy and New Year’s Eve preparations, justify the nascence of my latest drawing I hope will be leniently received by whatever audience it may attract. The theme is obvious and finds explanation in the previous thoughts while the graphic gathers all my dilettante skill to an outcome you evaluate.

Any criticism?

Of course I’m referring to Sissi the Empress, whose 175th birthday (she would’ve been terrified by the prospect of ugliness this age implies)  we celebrate today, on Christmas Eve (Happy Holidays to you all!). Not for nothing she was called Eugénie, after the obscure patron Sainte Eugénie, commemorated on 24 December.

Between cleaning the last corner of my already ultra-sterilized flat and venturing to decorate the Christmas tree alongside a totally amateurish brother, I decided to take a moment of respite and celebrate my favorite 19th century Empress. Also, since the ‘Quote Monday” has been off for a while, why not revive it with a thematic excerpt from Sissi’s diary to compensate the shortness of the post?


She was aware they believed her insane and actually pronounced it out loud, publicly, though I’m momentarily unable to recall the exact circumstances which lead to her uttering such audacious a line. Certainly no previous Austrian monarch ever attempted a similar bravery in facing the court. A true eccentric, this woman, and a brave one at that.

She was so interestingly dynamic I believe it’s nearly impossible not to least feel the most malnourished affinity for her and to support my conviction, here are some things I bet you didn’t know about our Sissi (and neither suspected):

  • She admired gorgeous women perhaps as much as men did, with the exception that she only, exclusively, solely accepted the company of this particular category, and even had a picture album to count her preferences (over 100 samples, which numbered beauties from Lola Montes and Maria Sophia of Bavaria to unconventional Amelie Gautreau).  To complete it, the Empress wrote the Austrian ambassadors across Europe to send her photographs of charming ladies in their vicinity, causing amusing scandals regarding the purpose of the collection.
  • She had an anchor tattoo on her shoulder to express a love for sailing never to diminish for as long as she lived. Husband Franz was reportedly displeased by the daring.
  • When catching a sea storm, she often had her attendants tie her to a fixed chair on the main deck, claiming she imitates Ulysses due to the magnetic attraction waves exerted on her… Imagine what terrible coercion subdued the ones who abode her whim but responded before the Emperor if any unfortunate incident took place.
  • To avoid fulfilling her marital duties in the detriment of much desirable traveling, Sissi encouraged Franz’s sexual affairs, especially the long-term relationship with actress Katharina Schratt, whose reputation she always protected. Rumors of their friendship enabled Kat to continue the liaison for over 30 years, as a faithful mistress and friend to the miserable Emperor.

Wasn’t hers a titillating life?

Blimey, the telescope of my anticipation hasn’t seen that coming and, both perplexed and unprepared, I can merely respond with some petty albeit sincere “thank you”s to the one who was thoughtful enough to nominate me: the witty Dauphine over at Tiaras and Trianon (a place you really need to visit when in the mood to be swept away by the tiara frenzy).

Getting a star for “blog of the year” has utterly come as a pleasant surprise, the sort only the festive interlude between St. Nicholas and Christmas can bring, and, well, if this post’s downright meager, the only excuse I feel no remorse to forward is that I was just overwhelmed by today’s program. I hate it, I concomitantly despise whining but life’s life, versatile and often gushing unexpectedly.

Now, getting to the matter-of-fact stuff, here are the 6 mundane rules the award comes with:

1 -Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2- Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3- Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award  and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 -Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5- You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6- As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

After a moment’s hesitation, I decided it’s beyond my power of control to refrain from retouching the badge. I don’t intend to offend anyone, but, with my blog’s theme color, it would be terribly unaesthetic to display the gold and red they propose near so much pink. Apologies being expressed, behold the altered award logo:


And for the majestic end, a list of blogs I consider have managed splendidly this year:

Life Takes Lemons

The Pragmatic Costumer

Saints, Sisters and Sluts

Of course there are a lot more, but these 3 in particular have made my evening delight for quite a while and I feel they’re most deserving to thus receive their rightful recognition.

So thank you and congratulations to the elected trio,

Madame de Pique


Amendment: since I’ve last written this post, a minor change knocked to Madame’s virtual door, awarding her an extra star from the lady of the Life Takes Lemons, Susan Ardelie. Hence a new array of gratitude expressions needs to be forwarded: merci et beaucoup de félicitations for least a change of language!

A Finished Art Project

December 19, 2012

Remember the slightly eerie art project I’ve embarked upon a few months ago?

That’s the outcome, slightly unclear with the bad quality of the above photo and the pink tint imposed by the blog’s theme. Not exactly the most astonishingly great result we’ve been expecting to produce after a 4 months labor but, giving the time we spent on its bottom half (or rather the lack of it) I’m not as embarrassed as I should be for the blatant faults here visible. After all, I’m contented enough to post it and pack it a gift to my mentor.

Do you believe he’ll least appreciate our strive?


Beauty is omnipotent. Beauty, striking or delicate (or both), lissom and cunning and sinuous in the conquering of hearts, is thus quite a stimulus for the visual senses whose function, when by its appearance employed, seems to reduce itself to that of a mere messenger of titillations. Beauty is that which can impress the most obtuse perceptiveness and with these being said, I should conclude my introductory definition, sliding to the subject: Joanna Lloyd, picture above. (Between brackets, pure serendipity lead me to her as,though of yore acquainted with Joshua Reynold’s aristocratic portraits depicting haughty dames and gents of the London Season scene,it was not until I read the “House of mirth” that I met his beauteous Mrs. Lloyd. And ironically enough, I wouldn’t have ever saw the lady in question if it weren’t for Wharton’s laudatory description within the novel…)

Now, she might not be considered exactly a stunner after today’s standards but the woman undoubtedly had a gorgeous profile and overall a certain charm about her gracious self. She’s highly refined.

Needless to add I, hunter of all things beautiful, just had to comply with my impulse and dig up her life. Surely I couldn’t refrain  making use of such fine a serendipitous ‘discovery’ . Plus, don’t you have a greater experience of a thing’s immortalized  fairness once you learn, explicitly, there was blood flowing under that epidermis?I tend to think people are getting too impersonal (from reasons I won’t take time enumerating) and the sort of insertion into one’s life I’m proposing could bring back some warm, colorful interest. Canvas is one enduring substitute of flesh, how about this?


Anyway, returning to the topic, the following are the disappointingly few facts I managed to gather (believe it or not, if you haven’t heard of Joanna Lloyd, Google almost hasn’t either):

-she was the third daughter and coheir of John Leigh Esq. of Northcote House, Isle of Wight…

-who married, at a thin age, a Richard Bennett Lloyd from an important American family…

-moving together on the other side of the Ocean, in Maryland (there’s actually a Maryland Historical Magazine which gives a plentiful account of her life there yet cannot be found online).

-shortly before embarking for the U.S. (1775-6), she had her portrait painted by the fashionable Reynolds, who allegedly praised her attractiveness (also much appreciated, albeit not without scorn, at the Lloyds’ new home). This is the exquisite work Wharton’s character in the “House of mirth” replicates.

-the spring of the 1788’s saw her widowed and promptly remarried to a handsome  Francis Love Beckford (1764-1838), (announced by the 3rd edition of “New Lady’s Magazine  or Polite and Entertaining Companion for the fair sex”).

-naturally, she returned to British soil and from this part any information reminiscent of her earthly life passed out of my reach.

The Reynolds remains, though. Does it intrigue you as it appears to intrigue me? Why yes, why no?


It just so happens that most recent events consist of Madame de Pique’s first public acknowledgement of loveliness, granted by the very gracious fellow bloggeress Dauphine under God may know what stimulating reason. Now, being one of those congenially narcissistic people never to consider themselves other than utterly divine beings,  I won’t lie, pledging I’ve experienced either surprise or bewilderment upon first receiving the notice. Suffice to say the gesture elated me, although, at the same time, it couldn’t come more natural. Just couldn’t. In fact, the sole thing to surprise me was the lateness with which such an award like “the Lovely Blogger” reached the eternally deserving me. Until recently, I told myself an error certainly slipped in since Madame’s total marvelousness passed unappreciated. After this blatant confirmation, let it be well known our goal for the future includes the finding and punishing of those responsible.

O.K. The introduction being done with, to migrate to rather more pragmatic topics, here’s the obligatory list of rules all nominees should feature in their announcement-post:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you. (checked)
  2. Add the “One Lovely Blog Award” image to your post. (definitely checked)
  3. Share 7 things about you. (in progress)
  4. Pass the award on to seven nominees. (election time!)
  5. Include this set of rules. (obviously a fulfilled task)
  6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs. (also in progress)

Alas, I’ve always, when possible, skipped the “share personal information” requirement on the basis of my already famous modesty and intend to apply the rule once more, hopefully to no great disappointment. Thus I jump to my top 7 nominees, all worthy of your attention but enumerated absolutely in no promoting order.

The Pragmatic Costumer

The Empress Chronicles

Saints, Sisters and Sluts

Life Takes Lemons

Good Gentlewomen

Versailles Gossip

The Freelance History Writer

You can take it as a token of my admiration for your work or simply a cogent evidence of my outrageously good taste. No matter the choice, congratulations and may you pass this lovely award guided by the intrinsic wisdom I’ve been proving in electing you!



Splendiferous subtext, if you ask me, and, concomitantly, one of the greatest biblical metaphors ever to be taken from the patrimony of  ancient civilizations without other alteration except that concerning the context.

I strongly recommend to muse about it, let it settle gently on your membrane of intellectual sensibility, allow it to make connections with previous thoughts and ruminate until the tangency it has with several impossible-not-to-relate-to issues least comes to reveal a path towards full understanding.

Can the blind lead the blind?


If so, why does our magnificently well- structured society permit such immense a mistake and to which effect, really? How do we still fall under the influence of utterly false gurus, all information to prevent it being internationally available?

To which extent to we plunge in that pit?

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