Though Meredith Martin is primarily an art historian, this book goes way beyond art history. It examines “pleasure dairies,” built by the French aristocracy to be sites of leisure, healing, and simple luxury, from the vantage point of cultural studies as well as social and political history. The traditional historical narrative, still deeply resonant, is that these dairies were little more than frivolous excess or attempts to imagine “common life” by people so wealthy they could not even imagine poverty. But Martin complicates this picture. She examines the social, cultural, and political uses of these dairies, showing that they were in fact instrumental as sites that both reinforced and challenged definitions of femininity. The dairies provided strategic venues for noble women to assert their status and identity while at the same time appearing to retreat from power. They served the functions of a spa, where fresh milk and beautiful scenery helped women recover their health. They also are tangible evidence of the new valorization of country living, which was expressed also in political debates about improving the countryside and reforming the aristocracy, especially elite women.
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Review: Dairy Queens: The Politics of Pastoral Architecture from Catherine de' Medici to Marie-AntoinetteUser Review - Don Stanton - Goodreads
Very well written and very sad. All of these women living in a isolated life of fantasy, ignorant of the realities of the lives of the common peasant. The fantasy lives of these poor women, yes I mean ... Read full review
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Amalthea ancien régime Ange-Jacques Gabriel architectural aristocratic building type built Catherine Catherine’s Chantilly château Compiègne court courtiers cows CYBELE d’Angiviller d’Angiviller’s DAIRY AT RAMBOUILLET DAIRY QUEENS dairy’s decoration depicted described Early Modern eighteenth century elite women farm female feminine fêtes Figure Fontainebleau France François FRENCH CYBELE gardens grotto HAMEAU EFFECT HERMITAGES OF MADAME Hubert Robert interior jardin Julien king king’s landscape Louis XIV Louis XVI Madame de Pompadour Marie-Antoinette Medici Mémoires menagerie Mi-voie milk mother Musées Nationaux/Art Resource natural nobility NOTES TO PAGES painting Paris PASTORAL RETREAT patrons pavilion Petit Trianon Photo Pierre Pierre Julien pleasure dairy POLITICS OF PASTORAL porcelain portrait Primaticcio prince de Condé print version Queen’s Dairy QUEENS To view Rambouillet dairy refer REGENERATING THE MONARCHY Réunion des Musées Richard Mique Rousseau royal rustic Salon Sèvres symbolism treatise University Press Versailles Versailles menagerie view this image Vigée villa XIV’s XV’s XVI’s