After Jean-Etienne Liotard, Portrait de l'archiduchesse Marie-Antoinette d'Autriche a l'age de 7 ans (1762).
I visited Versailles for the first time when I was 7 years old. That overwhelming palace with its enormous gardens and park was the most beautiful place I had ever experienced. I remember the statues in the Fall light. Golden brown leaves. A soft breeze. The sound of rustling skirts. I remember marble busts with elegant curls. I remember the gold and the candles of the Hall of Mirrors. I remember dancing with my cousin. I remember smiling the whole time.
"She was beheaded," said my stepfather. Marie Antoinette has been with me since then and I have read almost every book that has been written about her life. She continues to fascinate me.