The late eighteenth-century in France was a moment of perfection and refinement in luxury craftsmanship: exquisitely crafted furniture, carved and painted wall paneling, refined fabrics–lace, muslin, velvets and silks–decorated with hand painted or embroidered designs, useful and decorative porcelain in brilliant colors and delicate patterns, imaginative coiffures and hats, all abounded in the interior spaces and on the bodies of those from the wealthy ranks of society. Marie Antoinette, if not always the leader in setting a decorative trend, was highly conscious of fashion and showed refined taste in design and materials. Although the period style is called Louis XVI, it should rightly be named after her.
The items in the online exhibit have been selected to showcase the variety of luxury objects that Marie Antoinette might have used and chosen for her interior spaces and to adorn her person. They all are examples of craftsmanship of the highest order, molded and maintained through the corporation system that governed such crafts and trades during the ancien régime. Each of these items can also be seen in the context of an interior space from the period as represented in one or more of the accompanying prints from the Monument du Costume by Jean-Michel Moreau le Jeune, assembled as a group of 24 prints in 1789.
Instructions: Click one of the links in the “Luxury Objects in the Age of Marie Antoinette” menu above or in the column on the right and add your images and text (wall label) to your page.