Category Archives: Toni O

A New Mythology

Before my mom’s death, we used to talk together every Sunday. Talking with her was like talking to  Pythia, the oracle of Delphi. My mom had experience that she was willing to share and all I had to do was … Continue reading

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Still Lingering

My mom died a year ago but, for me, she’s more alive than ever. My parents divorced when I was six months old. My dad just disappeared and all the responsibility of raising me was left to my mom. And … Continue reading

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Back to Rome

Once back in Rome and far away from Revolutionary France, I felt safe again. But that feeling quickly disappeared in 1798. It was a February morning and I was climbing down the Spanish Steps when an overpowering noise like thunder … Continue reading

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Fantasies

Versailles—where too much is not enough. At first I was dazzled but it didn’t take long for the Rococo style to wear me out. All that theatrical exuberance, all those asymmetrical curves, all those volutes and festoons made me dizzy. … Continue reading

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The Power of a Gaze

It was at the Petit Trianon that I’d met the artist Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun. Elisabeth, after the royal family’s arrest, wisely left France taking her young daughter with her. At the time of Marie-Antoinette’s execution, she was in Vienna … Continue reading

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