Princess Marsi is the only daughter of H.R.H. Prince Chumbhot of Nagor Svarga and Mom Rajawongse Pantip Paribatra, born on 25 August 1931 at Bangkhunprom Palace (now the office of the Bank of Thailand) in Bangkok.
She lived in a small picturesque village, Annot, in Southern France, for more than 30 years, creating paintings of unique beauty in the “surréaliste-fantastique” genre.
According to Princess Marsi,
“Art is a reflection of life and death. I try to interpret this in my way.”
After the political upheaval of 1932 which ended absolute monarchy in Thailand, Princess Marsi accompanied her parents first to Java and then to England, where she attended primary school until the family returned to Thailand.
She then went to Mater Dei School, a Catholic school in Bangkok, in 1940, for the last year of primary education. During the Second World War, Mater Dei School had to evacuate to Hua Hin, a seaside village in Prachuap Kiri khan.
Princess Marsi’s father had a bungalow in the same village so they all spent time there and the Princess cycled from her home to school and back every day together with her friends. These happy memories have made Princess Marsi feel that Hua Hin is her second home, so she liked to go there whenever she had a chance.
Then the war ended and life returned to normalcy. Princess Marsi returned to Bangkok to complete her secondary education at Mater Dei School in 1946, after which she went to further her studies in Switzerland, France and Spain.
Princess Marsi was granted Docteur ès Lettres in Literature from the University of Paris in 1954 for the thesis: Le Romantisme Contemporain.
In 1959 after she presented her thesis entitled “Bases sociales, technicas y espirituales de la Pintura Paisajista en Chine”, she was awarded a Doctorate degree in Art History from the University of Madrid, Spain.
Princess Marsi lectured on Far Eastern Civilization at the Faculty of Arts, University of Madrid and also lectured on History of Art at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.
Although Princess Marsi had shown her artistic talent since she was young, she did not take up serious studies on drawing/painting until after she turned thirty. She gave up her teaching career altogether and spent her time training herself in art and learning from the works of famous artists in museums and art centers.She was also advised on proper methods and techniques in painting by some of her fellow artists, such as André Poujet and others.
In 1962, Princess Marsi exhibited her works for the first time at Silpa Bhirasri Art Centre in Bangkok.
Then she worked with many groups of French artists and had her paintings exhibited at the Salon Comparaisons, Musée de l’ Art Moderne, in Paris regularly between 1964–1972. She also joined the l’ Art Fantastique group in their exhibition “Figuratif de l’Imaginaire Surreal”,her favorite style of art.
In terms of personal life, Princess Marsi was married to a French Professor named Jacques Bousquet, who went to work at the UNESCO Office in Madrid, Spain for a while. But when the Princess exhibited her paintings more frequently in France, she moved to Paris. When she had her works exhibited many times in the South of France, she discovered a small village called Annot in the Alpes de Haute-Provence. The Princess fell in love with charms of Annot and decided to buy land there. There she built a studio, and since 1970, has been living in this home named “Vellara.”
Apart from her love of art, Princess Marsi also has a great love for nature and music, as well as being a very good cook. “Vellara” therefore not only has a studio where she can work, but is surrounded by trees, shrubs, a flower garden, a kitchen garden, a small stream meandering below and, within the building, which is her home, a menagerie of animals: cats, dogs, and birds. So she never lacks animal models for her paintings!
While in Annot, the Princess had her paintings shown in many exhibitions in the South of France and is widely recognised among artists in the region. In 2004, she unfortunately suffered from a stroke and was unable to paint until she passed away.
Princess Marsi lived amidst nature, music and animals in “Vellara” until her last moments of life in 9 July 2013. The cremation took place peacefully at the Crématorium de Nice-Côte d’Azur, Colomars, France. The part of her ashes lie with those of her ancestors at the Royal Crematorium, Ratchabophit temple, but another part is buried in the grounds of “Vellara”, the place she called home.