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Top 10 Marie Antoinette Portraits and What Is Marie Antoinette Known For

16.08.2021
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marie antoinette paintings

Marie Antoinette and the journey of her image through time are the focus of the exhibition at the Conciergerie Museum in Paris. Today, this French queen is still a key emblem of pop culture. Queen Marie Antoinette was one of the most important characters in the history of France and Europe.

Maria Antonia Josefa Juan de Habsburg-Lorena, better known as Maria Antonieta de Austria, was sentenced to death for conspiring against France, promoting intrigue, destroying the country’s finances, and even maintaining an incestuous relationship with her son Luis Carlos.

Young Marie Antoinette loved theater, big balls, card games, and, above all, fashion, while people were starving outside her palace.

As part of Moda, glamor, and wastefulness, Marie Antoinette loved to be surrounded by many friends with whom she could hang out and show off her exquisite outfits, which were later reproduced by the women of the French aristocracy.

Marie Antoinette Art

  • Marie Antoinette is one of the few historical figures that can boast having influenced fashion. Both during her life and after her death, her clothing style has been imitated by members of high society across Europe.
  • Due to the lack of photography and video at the time, Marie Antoinette of France wanted to be immortalized by the best artists of the time, so she befriended a dedicated portraitist, Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, who painted the celebrities of her time.
  • The exhibition will illustrate the many representations of the pictures of Marie Antoinette with 200 pieces, artifacts, archival documents, film clips, and fashion accessories. The selection of images and objects is based on three elements that have symbolized her image throughout its history: hair, body, and severed head. Twenty events, both public and private, will be featured, from birth to death, including the official funeral of MA in 1814.

Even with her head cut off by the people, she remained a heroine for centuries. One of the interpretations is that long before the French Revolution, she was already a modern woman who no longer wants to live in Versailles. “There is a real hatred of Marie Antoinette within the royal family, the fact that she wants to be a simple person and wants to live the life of a woman is an inexhaustible source of misunderstanding and, therefore, fantasies,” explains Cecile Burleigh, historian who specializes in the 18th century.

The life of Wertmuller Marie Antoinette changed after her death thanks to numerous accounts and biographies, testimonies, and memoirs. This is a real “space of images”, which can be quickly redesigned in accordance with an event, the latest cultural trend, or a fashionable motive.

Top 10 Marie Antoinette Portraits

Portrait of Marie Antoinette and Her Children

Portrait of Marie Antoinette and Her Children

Many of us have wondered what did Marie Antoinette look like and the only way we can answer that question is by looking at her many portraits. Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun painted a total of no less than thirty portraits of the French queen Marie-Antoinette, the most famous of which depicts the wife of Louis XVI along with her children.

On the one hand, there is a ceremonial portrait with all the necessary attributes – the splendor of the clothes, draperies, and columns in the background, and the emphasized luxury of the environment, which Vigee-Lebrun conveys in detail with a purely feminine scrupulousness. On the other hand, the ceremonial portrait as a genre does not imply the presence of children, or even three. It is difficult to imagine Russian monarchs, for example, in the company of their young heirs.

Marie Antoinette at the Age of Thirteen

Marie Antoinette at the Age of Thirteen

This miniature portrait was sent to the Dauphin to show him what his bride-to-be looks like. Then, as far as we know, he liked her.

Marie Antoinette in a Dress-Shirt

Marie Antoinette in a Dress-Shirt

This portrait of LeBrune was one of those exhibited by the artist during his first visit to the Salon. This caused controversy, as the royal family portrait’s chemise dress was considered “too pastoral” for a royal family portrait. Here is a Gallic Marie Antoinette blue dress, which means a simple white muslin dress that fits the body relatively loosely with a belt at the waist.

Marie Antoinette in a Silk Dress

Marie Antoinette in a Silk Dress

After causing controversy with the previous portrait, Vigee LeBron’s portrait of Marie Antoinette quickly prepared another one for an exhibition at the Salon. This time, she dressed the queen in a more classic blue and gray Lyon silk dress.

Marie Antoinette Plays the Harp

Marie Antoinette Plays the Harp

For Marie Antoinette, the harp was the perfect way to entertain and perhaps show off to guests. It also allowed for a more intimate perspective on the Queen, as she is shown not yet dressed in her full regalia. Instead, she wears a morning dress and is elegantly held in the center of the room.

Marie Antoinette with a Globe

Marie Antoinette with a Globe

Gaultier-d’Agoti shows the queen of France, Marie Antoinette, as a strong ruler. When the portrait was presented to Marie Antoinette and the court, it was strongly rejected. This suggested that the artist had misrepresented the queen or depicted her in an unflattering light.

Part of the power of this painting stems from its portrayal of Marie Antoinette as a wealthy, stately queen surrounded by various attributes. Her right hand rests on the globe, expressing worldly and global knowledge. Her left hand gently wraps around the waist.

Archduchess Marie Antoinette, Queen of France

marie antoinette paintings

In this picture, the queen is wearing an exquisite golden and white dress. Her hair is pulled back in a high bun, and she wears a headdress with feathers. Around her is the outfit of her station. These include the huge columns and the marble bust of her husband Louis XVI on a pedestal. Behind her is a table on which the crown rests.

Marie Antoinette with Her Two Older Children

Marie Antoinette with Her Two Older Children

one of queen Marie-Antoinette’s favorite portrait painters was, perhaps unsurprisingly, one in which she was depicted with her children. Werthmüller chose for this work the environment where she spent most of her time: the gardens surrounding her Petit Trianon palace, near Versailles. This Marie Antoinette family portrait was part of a strategy to change Marie Antoinette’s official image. Instead of seeing her as a frivolous foreigner who loves the luxury of life, here she is the mother of all France.

Marie Antoinette was 30 years old when the portrait was painted. Louis-Joseph was four years old and died three years later from tuberculosis. Maria-Teresa Charlotte was the only member of the family to survive the revolution.

State Portrait of Marie Antoinette

State Portrait of Marie Antoinette

In this Marie Antoinette painting, the queen is shown in the company of her three surviving children, Marie Therese, Louis Charles (on her lap), and Louis Joseph. Louis Joseph lifts the curtain of the empty bassinet. This meant the recent death of Marie’s fourth child. Again, this was an attempt to improve her reputation by portraying her as a mother in simple yet stately attire.

Prisoner of Marie Antoinette in the Temple Tower

Prisoner of Marie Antoinette in the Temple Tower

Early in the morning of October 16, Marie Antoinette, then called the “widow of Capet,” was found guilty on three main charges: depletion of the national treasury, conspiracy against the internal and external security of the state, and high treason resulting from her intelligence activities in the interests of the enemy. This last charge alone was enough to sentence her to death.
So you have learned all the most important information about Marie Antoinette, famous for her paintings. We hope you enjoyed the article and see you again next time!

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