Marie Antoinette is France’s most notorious queen. She was adored in Versailles, where her beauty, vivacity and intelligence were widely admired. Worried by her popularity, courtiers at Versailles attempted to limit her influence. But the young queen was destined to make an impact.
Marie-Antoinette became known as a patron of the arts, known at Versailles for decorative arts, music and fashion. However, her extravagance came under intense criticism. The young queen was dismissed as “the Austrian” and considered a spendthrift, a schemer and a counter-revolutionary. As public opinion turned against her, the royal administration tried to project her noble image by commissioning large portraits to be shown to the public at the salons. Marie Antoinette’s life story is eternalized in the works of the Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigee Lebrun:
Marie Antoinette, 1779, Vigee - Lebrun Elizabeth Louise Marie, oil on canvas
Marie Antoinette, 1783, Vigee - Lebrun Elizabeth Louise Marie, oil on canvas
" I was a queen, and you took away my crown; a wife,
and you killed my husband; a mother, and you deprived me of my
children. My blood alone remains: take it, but do not make me suffer long."