Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Fairy Ballet Carnival

And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.
Last came Anarchy; he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.

PB ShelleyThe Masque of Anarchy, 1832

“The masque was a form of festive courtly entertainment which flourished in 16th and early 17th century Europe [..and..] involved music and dancing, singing and acting, within an elaborate stage design, in which the architectural framing and costumes might be designed by a renowned architect, to present a deferential allegory flattering to the patron.” [source]


“The designs [..below..] are from the workshop of Daniel Rabel (1578-1637), the artist responsible for creating costumes for the spectacular entertainments performed by and for the French court. The ballets were based on the social dances of the day, but this was social dance elevated to an elaborate art form which combined choreography with poetry, music, song and pageanty, and included elements of satire and burlesque.

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Musée du Château Ramezay

Just off of Place Jacques Cartier – where I was night sketching the other day
– is the Musée du Château Ramezay. The historic house features costumed
docents giving tours and serving lunch wearing 19th century clothing.

I’ve
never actually been inside myself – I’m sure it’s full of interesting
draw-worthy artifacts. Perhaps that’s best saved for a bad weather trip?

Just the other day we discovered, quite by accident, that in behind is a tiny walled garden.

It’s
really quite amazing – on one side of a wall is a huge public square
packed with tourists, shops, vendors’ stalls, horse and carriage touts, (more…)