Marie Antoinette Portraits


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2 Responses to 420px-Koningin_marie-antoinette

  1. lcherry says:

    In 1779 Charles Emmanuel Patas created a fashion plate, using Queen Marie Antoinette as the marketing tool of his piece. This particular portrait was to be put into a fashion book for the public eye to see. In the past, the Queen had never been used as a model in a fashion book mainly because such books or prints did not exist. But at this moment Patas believed it was time to break the rules. Seeing the Queen in an elegant court dress would be a way to “sell” fashion, but eventually would also damage Marie Antoinette’s reputation.
    At this point in time, Marie Antoinette’s reputation was shaky. A rumor flowed for years that Louis and her marriage was unconsummated. Finally in 1777 Marie Antoinette fulfilled her duties and gave birth to the royal couple’s first child in 1778. But Marie Antoinette had also contributed to her bad reputation, by engaging in activities giving the public a negative assumption of her character. After her marriage, Marie Antoinette lived separately from her husband she, disconnecting her relations and personal activities from him. The Queen was a night owl and enjoyed every part of it, but the King was the complete opposite, waking up early. Marie Antoinette also wore luxurious and fashionable gowns, hats/ headdresses and jewelry to display her royalty and choice of high fashion. Although Marie was just trying to please herself in an uncontrollable and unhappy situation, she was also damaging any positive outlooks from the public.
    This image is an unusual royal portrait. Marie Antoinette’s stance and fashionable attire ARE similar to other royal portraits; the velvet fabric and large amount of lace trimming on the gown portrays her royal status. However, this portrait also to differs from the others; the background is blank, besides the King’s throne. The throne is a representation of Marie Antoinette’s royal title, but the lack of representation of Louis disconnects the respect for her status. Usually royal portraits of the Queen include a background of a grand room with tall pillars and a portrait of the King or the placement of his crown somewhere next to her. The carpeting beneath her feet coordinates with the color of the upholstery of the chair behind her, also representING her power and title, but there’s still no representation of the King.
    Of course Marie Antoinette did not give Patas consent to use her as an image for his fashion book. Instead he displayed his lack of respect for her and began a new use of the Queen’s image. In this portrait, Patas disconnects Marie Antoinette’s relations from the King and uses her face as a sales point for his success. The Queen should be respected as an idol but Patas represented her as almost any another woman. Patas’ inappropriate action began a train of inappropriate publicity of Queen Marie Antoinette that would be displayed in a variety of forms. Marie Antoinette was a Queen misunderstood whose reputation got the best of her. After this fashion image, things continue to fall downhill for Marie Antoinette.

    Wikimedia Foundation. File:Koningin marie-antoinette.jpg. Wikimedia Foundation Inc., 9 May 2006. Web. 30 Sept. 2012. .

  2. jvanpee says:

    Your description shows an astute understanding of how the use or appropriation of the Queen’s image as a fashionable woman for the purpose of advertisement and commercialization of fashion had a nefarious effect on the reputation of Marie Antoinette as Queen.

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