Monday, 2 July 2012

Henri II and Company

Paris iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Henri II and Company ~

Henri II and Company, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Look carefully at the walls of the Cour Carrée in the Louvre and you'll see some distinctly interesting features, if not to say intriguing.

Basically, the kings in charge of pushing forward the slow but relentless development of the royal palace had a teeny weeny ego issue and desperately wanted to be associated with whichever wing or widget they were responsible for. So they left their initials or insignia carved in the stonework for all to see, admire, venerate and sometimes be confused about.

Louis XIII, for example, chose a couple of overlapping lambdas to signal his greatness. Many of them also interlaced the initial or initials of their betrothed ones. The symbol we can see here though is a bit of a mystery.

We know that the single 'H' with a cute little crown is Henri II's monogram, and that the 'H' is included in the one above it too. Then it gets complicated.

Is the 'H' being combined with a forwards and backwards 'C' to honour his wife, Catherine de Medici? Or is it sneakily turned into 'D's with the uprights of the 'H' to become a nod and a kiss to his 'favourite', Diane de Poitiers..?

Then again, could he get away with having us believe that it was simply another symbol he'd conveniently adopted, namely that of two intertwined crescent moons? The mystery has never satisfactorily been solved and of course it's far more fun that way after all, isn't it? ~ SW

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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