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Using Trianon as a place of retreat, Marie-Antoinette sometimes opened up her estate for celebrations given for visiting guests. This was the case in 1781, when she welcomed her brother, Emperor Joseph II, who was passing through Versailles between July 29 and August 5. The illumination was a repeat performance (with a certain number of improvements) of the spectacle Marie-Antoinette had put on a few days earlier (26 July) for her brother-in-law, the Count of Provence.

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