Title

The Death of François Vatel: A Symbol of Darkness in the Courts of Seventeenth-Century France

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Therese Saint Paul

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract/Description

The Death of François Vatel: A Symbol of Darkness in the Courts of Seventeenth-Century France

La mort de François Vatel:Un emblème du mal dans les cours en France pendant le dix-septième siècle

The seventeenth century is known as the “Grand Siècle” of France, a time period in which many great laws, movements, political figures, and works of art emerged. The “Grand Siècle” was dominated by the aura of the Sun King, Louis XIV (ruled 1643-1714), who, at Versailles, had put France at the center of the world. He had extensive connections, especially with the Eastern world. Chinese fashion even influenced the dress within the court of Versailles. Inside the courts such as Louis XIV’s, and those modeled after his court, there were men who were responsible for maintaining the extravagance and glory of the courts. These men, called maîtres d’hôtel were essentially responsible for managing what went on behind the scenes of the court, whether it be coordinating decorations or cooking the meals for a party. François Vatel was a maître d’hôtel, employed by Nicholas Fouquet and the Prince de Condé, whose death remains, to this day, much of a mystery. In this paper, the death of François Vatel is discussed in the context of letters by Madame de Sévigné and the film Vatel directed by Roland Joffé. His death is also contrasted with the bright reputation of the courts in seventeenth-century France, and brings up the question of a hidden darkness within those very courts. Ultimately, this essay suggests that Vatel’s death was a symbol of darkness in the seemingly sound court system of Louis XIV’s France.

Kristin Critchfield

Major in French and Francophone Studies, Minor in English Literature (Class of 2016)

Research Advisor: Dr. Therese Saint Paul

Location

Barkley Room, Curris Center

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

Affiliations

Modern Languages Senior Colloquium

This document is currently not available here.

Share

Import Event to Google Calendar

COinS
 
Apr 19th, 3:30 PM Apr 19th, 5:30 AM

The Death of François Vatel: A Symbol of Darkness in the Courts of Seventeenth-Century France

Barkley Room, Curris Center

The Death of François Vatel: A Symbol of Darkness in the Courts of Seventeenth-Century France

La mort de François Vatel:Un emblème du mal dans les cours en France pendant le dix-septième siècle

The seventeenth century is known as the “Grand Siècle” of France, a time period in which many great laws, movements, political figures, and works of art emerged. The “Grand Siècle” was dominated by the aura of the Sun King, Louis XIV (ruled 1643-1714), who, at Versailles, had put France at the center of the world. He had extensive connections, especially with the Eastern world. Chinese fashion even influenced the dress within the court of Versailles. Inside the courts such as Louis XIV’s, and those modeled after his court, there were men who were responsible for maintaining the extravagance and glory of the courts. These men, called maîtres d’hôtel were essentially responsible for managing what went on behind the scenes of the court, whether it be coordinating decorations or cooking the meals for a party. François Vatel was a maître d’hôtel, employed by Nicholas Fouquet and the Prince de Condé, whose death remains, to this day, much of a mystery. In this paper, the death of François Vatel is discussed in the context of letters by Madame de Sévigné and the film Vatel directed by Roland Joffé. His death is also contrasted with the bright reputation of the courts in seventeenth-century France, and brings up the question of a hidden darkness within those very courts. Ultimately, this essay suggests that Vatel’s death was a symbol of darkness in the seemingly sound court system of Louis XIV’s France.

Kristin Critchfield

Major in French and Francophone Studies, Minor in English Literature (Class of 2016)

Research Advisor: Dr. Therese Saint Paul