In-Person Conversation

Mercy-Argenteau, in the shadow of Marie-Antoinette (In-Person Conversation)

Portrait of Marie-Anoinette, attributed to Martin van Meytens, circa 1787-1788, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria.jpg Full

Have you heard of Claude-Florimond, Count of Mercy-Argenteau (1727-1794), an Austrian diplomat close to Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793)?

Mercy-Argenteau, in the shadow of Marie-Antoinette

Have you heard of Claude-Florimond, Count of Mercy-Argenteau (1727-1794), an Austrian diplomat close to Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793)? Negotiator of her marriage to the future Louis XVI, the ambassador was the sovereign's confidant. This status enabled him to witness first-hand the ups and downs of court life.

Appointed ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire in Paris in 1766, the Count of Mercy-Argenteau moved into a private mansion on the Grands Boulevards, to which he gave his name. Listed as a historical monument, this 18th century building now houses the second Paris campus of L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts. What better place to discover the incredible story of this diplomat, closely linked to that of Marie-Antoinette?

Although he reported to Empress Maria Theresa on her daughter's daily life, the Count of Mercy-Argenteau saw himself as a mentor to her. He also introduced her to the music he loved. When Marie-Antoinette's reputation was compromised, the ambassador had a front-row seat. Such is the case with the so-called Affair of the Diamond Necklace, one of the most incredible swindles in history. In 1791, when the sovereign was imprisoned, she turned to the loyal diplomat to entrust her case of diamonds to him.

Join us on October 26 at 7.30pm at L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts in the Hôtel de Mercy-Argenteau, where the diplomat lived, to discover the career of this privileged witness to the former regime. 

This first meeting in this private mansion launches an exceptional series of in-person talks.

In-Person Conversation:

7.30pm - 8pm: Cocktail
8pm - 9pm: Conversation
@L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts Hôtel de Mercy-Argenteau, 16 bis, Boulevard Montmartre, 75009 Paris


With Paul Paradis, Art Historian, Decorative Arts and Jewelry Specialist, Lecturer at L'ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts
Léonard Pouy, Art Historian PhD and Lecturer-Researcher at L'ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts


Photo: Portrait of Marie-Antoinette, attributed to Martin van Meytens, circa 1787-1788, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria. 

Our In-Person Conversations

The talks take place in an exceptional setting, steeped in history. Built in 1778 on the Grands Boulevards, the Hôtel de Mercy-Argenteau is one of the few buildings of its era to have been preserved, earning it a place on the City of Paris' inventory of remarkable buildings. The private mansion owes its name to the Comte de Mercy-Argenteau, ambassador to Empress Marie-Thérèse of Austria, who was responsible for negotiating the marriage between the future Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.

Brought together by their curiosity and love of jewelry culture, speakers and listeners are invited to meet at a cocktail reception preceding the talk. Often initiated during this convivial moment, exchanges prove to be as spontaneous as they are instructive. They continue to grow throughout the talk, which is organized around L'ÉCOLE's three main pillars: the History of Jewelry, the World of Gemstones and the Savoir-Faire.

Participating in these conversations hosted by L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts allows you to join a community of curious enthusiasts eager to discover and learn.