Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bathing beauties

I love to take a bubble bath and so did Marie Antoinette. She worn a linen gown to bathe in and I, of course, do not. I did some research about bathrooms and bathing at Versailles:
Only women could attend the Queen, no valets or men servants in the Royal bath. Marie Antoinette was modest- she had a piece of cloth held up after she got out of the tub so no one could see her.

These early bathtubs were often marble, or lined with gold or metals. The servants put a cloth inside before pouring water in so the Royals skin would not come into contact with the tub surface. The pipes were hidden behind paneling and the room was heated with a stove. These bathrooms were most likely painted white with gilded panels and details.

The first bubble bath or "modesty bath" came about during Louis XV 's reign. The milk baths we hear about were actually tincture of benzoin and it tinted the water a milky shade. People used it for sunburn or skin irritations.

Prior to Louis XV era the Church thought water was harmful and only recommended bathing when necessary and not for sensual pleasure or voluptuousness People took dry baths and also changed their undergarments often in lieu of bathing.

You can see a restored bathroom at Versailles. A section of the boiserie is shown above.

Have a PINK day!

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