The Vanity and Entombment of Marie Antoinette
Keywords:Interior, Interior architecture, Spatial design
In his fifteenth century treatise on building, De re aedificatoria, Leon Battista Alberti argued for the expansion of architectural purview through the inclusion of objects such as sundials and dovecotes on the grounds that the former marks and fundamentally registers human beings in time and space, while the latter acknowledges the possibility of constructed environments for other species.
The long march of coincidence that denoted the inimitable life of Marie Antoinette has provided cover for leveraging subjects that have not yet been mined as architecture; much less as possibilities for critical exploration. The Vanity and Entombment of Marie Antoinette attempts to goad the limits of critical spatial inquiry by examining a series of salient artefacts from the queen’s monarchical life: the guillotine as incontrovertible threshold, cleaving life from death, mind from body, thought from matter; the carriage, which widened the experience of the world past the limits of human physiology, and placed architecture on the move; curtains and crinolines, those soft precincts between body and berth, which beg the question, ‘Is there architecture in the occupation of a material condition, however tight the stays of the corset may be?’
The Vanity is a conceptual project imagined for the Hall of Mirrors; an object that is indeterminately a diminutive architecture, occupiable furniture, and a sculptural deviation made to house the remains of Marie Antoinette and her lost wedding trousseau.
The essay that follows is a fictional test of The Vanity’s measure – of its elasticity as a demarcation of narrative and milieu.
How to Cite
Author/s and or their institutions retain copyright ownership in the works submitted to the IDEA Journal, and provide the IDEA Journal of the Interior Design Interior Architecture Educators Association with a non–exclusive license to use the work for the purposes listed below:
- Made available/published electronically on the IDEA JOURNAL website
- Published as part of the IDEA JOURNAL online open access publication
- Stored in the electronic database, website, CD/DVD, which comprises post publication articles to be used for publishing of the Interior Design Interior Architecture Educators Association.
Reproduction is prohibited without written permission of the publisher, the authors or their nominated university. The work submitted for review should not have been published or be in the process of being reviewed by another publisher. Authors should ensure that any images used on the paper have copyright clearance.