Marie Antoinette

“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.”

- Marie Antoinette after being convicted of treason

Franz Xaver Wagenshon, Marie Antoinette, 1769 - 1770.












Historic Context
18th century
The Age of Enlightenment
1643 -1715
Reign of Louis XIV - "The Sun King"
Mozart tours Europe at age 6
1660 - 1774 Rococo

1715 - 1774
Reign of Louis XV
1760 - 1830
Industrial Revolution
1763 - 1781
American Revolution
1774 - 1792
Reign of Louis XVI
Loius XVI & Marie Antoinette tried for treason and beheaded
1789 - 1799
French Revolution
Late 18th to early 19th centuries Neoclassicism
1799 - 1814
Napoleon controls France
Antoine Francois Callet, Louis XVI, c. 1788.











Important Enlightenment Ideas:
  • Belief that humanity and its institutions could be reformed and perfected
  • Proposed equal rights to all white men
  • Free men and women could be expected to act morally and rationally
  • Belief that the purpose of humanity was to pursue their own happiness and fulfillment
  • Purpose of the state was to facilitate this pursuit
Joseph Wright of Derby, A Philosopher Giving a Lecture at the Orrery, c. 1763 - 1765.











Versailles Palace

Louis Le-Vau and Jules Hardoin-Mansart, Versailles Palace, 1668 - 1685.



Building of Versailles










Hall of Mirrors

Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Charles Le Brun, Hall of Mirrors, Palais de Versailles,
Begun 1678. Approx. 240' in length.











Portuguese word "barroco" = irregularly shaped pearl
French word "rocaille" = artificial shell or rock ornament popular for gardens
Germain Boffrand, Salon de la Princesse, Hotel de Soubise, Begun 1732.










Rosalba Carriera, Charles Sackville, 2nd Duke of Dorset, c. 1730.











Characteristics of the Rococo style:
  • Highly decorative
  • Lighthearted and playful
  • Element of fantasy and escape
Arabesque = linear surface decoration based on foliage and calligraphic forms, usually characterized by flowing lines and swirling shapes
Johann Balthasar Neumann, Kaisersaal (Imperial Hall),
1719 - 1744.
Frankfurt, Germany.











Jean-Antoine Watteau, Le Pelerinage a l'ile de Cithere (Pilgrimage to Cithera), 1717.











Cythera = island of love and the island that Venus arrives on after her birth at sea
Pilgrimage to Cythera
"amor vincit omnia" - love conquers all
fetes galantes = elegant fetes or entertainments
Jean-Antoine Watteau, Le Pelerinage a l'ile de Cithere (Pilgrimage to Cithera), 1717.











The Garden of Love

Peter Paul Rubens, The Garden of Love, c. 1638.











Jean-Antoine Watteau, The Signboard of Gersaint, c. 1721.












vanitas = an image in which the objects symbolize the transience of life and remind the viewer of their own impending doom. Vanitas paintings are usually still lifes or genre subjects

Clara Peters, Still Life with Flowers, Goblet, Dried Fruit and Pretzels, 1611.











Vanitas elements:
  • Louis XIV portrait
  • Clock
  • Straw
  • Woman gazing into a mirror
Jean-Antoine Watteau, The Signboard of Gersaint, c. 1721.










Francois Boucher, Diana After the Hunt, 1745.











The Swing

Jean-Honore Fragonard, The Swing, c. 1768.