Flowers & Mirrors
After learning of the bread shortages that were occurring in Paris at the time of Louis XVI's coronation in Rheims, as quoted in Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser, "Tradition persists that Marie Antoinette joked 'Let them eat cake!' This phrase, however, occurs in a passage of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Confessions, written in 1766, when Marie Antoinette was ten years old and four years before her marriage to Louis XVI.

Essay 1 or Paper Plan Due!!!

Van Meytens, Marie Antoinette, 1767.











Judith Leyster, The Last Drop, c. 1639.











The Proposition

Judith Leyster, The Proposition, 1631.











The Procuress

Dirck van Baburen, The Procuress, 1622.











Judith Leyster, Self-Portrait, 1635.











Officers of the Haarlem Militia
Children and Cat

Leyster's Signature

Frans Hals, Officers of the Haarlem
Militia Company of Saint Adrian
, c. 1627.
Judith Leyster, Two Children and Cat, 1631.
Leyster's signature












Maria Sibylla Merian, Insect Metamorphosis, 1727.


Once described by a contemporary as "painter of flowers, fruits, birds, worms, flies, mosquitoes, spiders and other filth"











Plate 69

Maria Sibylla Merian, Plate 69 from Dissertation in Insect Generations and Metamorphosis in Surinam, 1719.


Maris Sibylla Merian and Daughters: Women of Art and Science at the Getty Museum











Merian published limited edition, color folios of her Surinam work for 45 guilders. At the time, a Norweigan sailor earned 9 guilders a month.
Surinam Portfolio
Merian's Surinam Folio


more Merian work











Historic Context

18th century The Age of Enlightenment
1643 -1715
Reign of Louis XIV - "The Sun King"
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
Hyacinthe Rigaud, Louis XIV, 1701.










The Yellow Salon

rococo = 18th century style characterized by fanciful curved asymmetrical forms, elaborate ornamentation, opulence, grace and playfulness
A salon = a fashionable assemblage of notables held by custom at the home of a prominent person
The Yellow Salon, The Schonbrunn Palace, Austria
including original rococo elements










Versailles Palace

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











Hall of Mirrors

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










1648 Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture founded in France
Academies grew out of the salons held at the Hôtel de Rambouillet,
which discussed literature during the late 1620s and early 1630s.
Louis XIV proclaimed in his founding address that the intention of the Academy
was to reward all worthy artists "without regard to the difference of sex."

1648 - 1706
Seven women gained admittance to Academy
Academy declared itself closed to women
Limit of four women members at any one time
Women not admitted to Academy school
Women banned from competing for Prix de Rome
Odette Pauvert became first woman to win the Prix
Anne Seymour Damer, The Damerian Apollo, 1789.










1664 French Academy begins to hold annual Salons
To show at a salon, a young artist needed to be received by the Académie by first submitting an artwork to the jury; only Académie artists could be shown in the salons. Salons were started under Louis XIV and continued until 1704. After a hiatus, the salons started up again in 1725.

  • A salon, the Salon and salon style
  • A salon = a fashionable assemblage of notables held by custom at the home of a prominent person
  • The Salon = annual display of art established as a venue to show the works of Academy members
  • Salon style = method in which artworks are exhibited in a gallery that utilizes the maximum amount of space possible
Piero Antonio Martini, The Paris Salon of 1785.











Hierarchy of genres

Abduction of the Sabine Women

History painting = scenes with narrative content derived from mythology, Christian history, literature and historical events
Nicolas Poussin, The Abduction of the Sabine Women, c. 1633 - 1634.











During a visit to Paris in 1721, Carriera's paintings were in high demand. She portrayed many important nobles, including the King and members of his court and was elected to the Academy by acclamation.
pastels = crayons of pulverized pigment bound to a chalk base by weak gum water

Charles Sackville

Portrait of Young Louis

Rosalba Carriera, Charles Sackville, c. 1730.
Rosalba Carriera, Portrait of Louis XV, 1720.











Antoine Watteau

Rosalba Carriera, Antoine Watteau, 1721.
Jean-Antoine Watteau, Pilgrimage to Cithera, 1717.