Featured Lectures

-A ROYAL GARDENER: MARIE-ANTOINETTE AT TRIANON

During the 150 years of their royal life, the gardens of Versailles would know only two passionate “royal landscape designers”: Louis XIV and Marie-Antoinette. Both expressed through nature the philosophical undertones of their time, and thanks to their joined talent, the park of Versailles, today, encapsulates two centuries of unprecedented beauty in European gardening. This lecture, after a brief introduction to the classical gardens of Louis XIV, takes the audience on a promenade through the gardens of Trianon. Starting with the English Garden, stricto-sensu, including the “Grand Rocher,” the Grotto, the River and the Temple of Love, and finishing with the Rustic garden which highlights the famous Queen’s Hamlet and Farm.

-THE BOSQUETS

The gardens of Versailles, with their axial geometry and strictly manicured topiary, are most often recognized as the height of so-called French Classical Gardens. But, beyond those rational expressions, on each side of the central axis, another side of the gardens endures: the Bosquets. The Bosquets were a succession of secret gardens, or private rooms, much like the palatial apartments of the royal family. This lecture highlights the hidden, and sometimes forgotten Bosquets, bringing them forth as the more intimate, magical and playful analogue to the Grand Canal.

-THE GARDENS AT MARLY

While the palace and gardens of Versailles are known and revered worldwide, another creation of Louis XIV, Marly, is all but forgotten. Destroyed in the aftermath of the French Revolution, Marly was built in 1679 by the King as a getaway from the rigors of the court of Versailles. The lecture provides a close-up view of Marly as seen through period paintings, prints, watercolors and landscape
architectural drawings. During the lecture, one is treated to a typical day at Marly and the activities which allowed the guests the pleasure of games, boating and shaded walks through unprecedented groves of thousands of topiaries and flowers.

Notable Speaking Engagements

-HILLWOOD MUSEUM & GARDENS

Washington, DC

-THE BRUCE MUSEUM

Greenwich, CT

-THE HIGH MUSEUM

Atlanta, GA

-THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

New York, NY

-THE SOCIETY OF THE FOUR ARTS

Palm Beach, FL

-THE AMERICAN FRIENDS OF VERSAILLES

Chicago, IL

-THE FRENCH HERITAGE SOCIETY

New York, NY