Marie Antoinette Portraits

MA 23

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2 Responses to MA 23

  1. mriccio says:

    This portrait of Marie-Antoinette was done in 1769 by Joseph Ducreux, and it served one tremendously important purpose. This portrait would be shown to the French king and his court, and therefore every detail of the portrait had to make her look like the ideal Dauphine.
    Marie-Antoinette looks like a miniature woman with her lavish dress and stylish hairdo. Her blue-gray gaze is serene, directed right out at the viewer. Her expression is not quite a smile, but it is relaxed and pleasant all the same. She sits up straight and proud. She looks poised and collected.
    Her unmarred, creamy skin has a lovely, rosy bloom in the cheeks. Her powdered hair is swept high off her forehead and curled at the sides. Clusters of pearls are woven throughout this elaborate coiffure. More pearls encircle her left wrist, and she holds a pale pink rose in that hand. The rose is the Habsburg emblem. Blue and silver embroidery accents the gleaming white material of her gown. The white gown she wears could indicate virginal purity. A ruff of the same material adorns her neck, highlighting this area and framing the bottom of her face. Her sleeves end in a preponderance of ruffles and lace. The low neckline and ruffled sleeves are in typical French fashion. She owes her rigid posture to the grand corps, a very restricting corset worn in the French court. She embodies the French ideal of beauty.
    While her clothes indicate her wealth, the portrait’s background reflects her royal blood. A blue and gold curtain hangs at her left. Her left arm rests on a blue cushion trimmed with gold. These colors symbolize opulence and royalty and show her imperial heritage as a Habsburg archduchess.
    This 1769 portrait served its purpose well: the following year Marie-Antoinette left Austria forever and journeyed to Versailles to marry the Dauphin. Had this portrait not been so elegant, portraying her as a refined, lovely young woman, Louis XV may not have been won over by the young archduchess, and she would have never had the chance to rise to the place in history she holds today.

  2. jvanpee says:

    You capture the intention of this portrait well through your precise observation of the traits that Marie Antoinette exhibits and that would appeal to the French court.

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