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Debauchery by WinonaCookie

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It is difficult to imagine that life in an 18th century royal French court would be a crashing bore, but apparently that is how the dauphine, Marie Frivole found it. Otherwise, why would she send a battalion of besotted but otherwise idle courtiers out to scour the countryside for a look-alike to take her place at palace functions? When one thinks of royal life, it is the grand balls, cotillions, masquerades and enormous feasts that come to mind, and those were diverting, it’s true. However, most days unspooled in a gaping tedium of dull visiting dignitaries, religious observances and stultifying state funerals and Marie simply could bear it no longer. Delphine d’Etoile, a lovely but simple country girl, was hunched over a wash tub, scrubbing away at a wine stain on her best chemise when the dauphine’s courtiers came thundering up to her on their magnificent and terrifying horses. “_Sacre bleu_!” exclaimed the head courtier, “she’s a twin!” He unceremoniously swept the startled girl up onto his mount and curtly explained, “Your services are required by the future queen” and galloped away with her in a cloud of dust. And that is how Delphine found herself ensconced in the Palais de Versailles being powdered, plucked and painted into an exact replica of Marie Frivole. Exhaustive lessons in etiquette and comportment ensued, and the day soon came when she was to be presented to the dauphine. Now, besides being somewhat flighty and incredibly spoiled, Marie was deeply narcissistic. She took one look at Delphine and fell deeply and madly in love with her. Delphine wasn’t sure she was in love, but dressing up as a conquering general and cavorting with the lovely dauphine under the watchful eye of her pet peacock, Baroque, certainly beat scrubbing laundry in a creek any day. They drank, they ate, they spent vast sums, they disported themselves upon every chaise in the palace and the dauphine’s ladies-in-waiting scrambled to make excuses for her absences. Despite pleas for the dauphine’s caution, the two women were inseparable, and the uproarious scandal that followed is rumored to be the true reason for the decimation of the monarchy in France.

This original artwork and story are copyright Ramona Szczerba 2009. Copyright to this material is in no way transferable with the sale of this item. The buyer is not entitled to any reproduction rights – neither image nor story can be reproduced without my express written permission. Thanks!

When Ramona Szczerba (a.k.a, Winona Cookie) is not being a psychologist in private practice in San Diego,she enjoys creating whimsical children’s illustrations in watercolor, but also loves working with collage and assemblage. Her artwork and short stories have appeared in several publications including The Steampunk Bible and can be seen at www.winonacookieillustration.com. Originals available – check www.winonacookie.etsy.com for availability.
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  • WonderlandGlass
    WonderlandGlassalmost 6 years ago

    I know JUST how she felt… I have to deal with such banality on a daily basis myself! Ms Cookie-I needed a dose of your wit and wisdom before tackling the drudgery of the work week… somehow you always pop in JUST when needed most… thank you ;-}

  • WinonaCookie
    WinonaCookiealmost 6 years ago

    Heh, a little dose of debauchery will always cure what ails you! Have a great week, Wonderland :-).

  • rosepepper
    rosepepperalmost 6 years ago

    the montage is great & fits beautifully with the current of the story, suitably posed to catch the materialism of the royal court . To waste away days in luxury & hedonistic pleasure must be hard..no wonder the peasants revolted.. lol!! Brilliant, right their with Richard Hamilton from British pop art, love it.

  • MegJay
    MegJayalmost 6 years ago

    This is incredible. I love the story!

  • judiththibaut
    judiththibautover 5 years ago

    What a delight to tip toe through your world!

  • Bec Schopen
    Bec Schopenover 5 years ago

    Wow Ramona, your feature (s) in Layered with texture is very deserved!!! they are ALL fantastic.

  • Thanks, Bec! It was definitely a nice surprise.

    – WinonaCookie

  • biddumy
    biddumyover 5 years ago
    Absolutely fascinating work and so is the story. Poerful image!!!
  • Lydia Marano
    Lydia Maranoover 5 years ago


    Please post this surreal dream to The Voyage of the Surrealists

  • Thanks for the feature, Lydia!

    – WinonaCookie

  • izzybeth
    izzybethover 5 years ago

    nice work, again.

  • madvlad
    madvladover 5 years ago

    when i was 22 they being 28 =32-took me to new hampshire,and ruined my soul for ever—i repented—and forever-was not all that long,, they are now dead, with me, about to join them-in the bosses time—but i,ll never forget their gifts—shame on them——one more time would have been—hmmmm?—growing up-innocent-ah—lovely art trhat returned me to my past sins-

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