Art & Revolution











Louis and Marie were married in 1770 when he was 16 and she was 15.


Louis c. 1770
Joseph Ducreux, Marie Antoinette, 1768.











In 1774, he became the French King, and she became the Queen of France.


Joseph Siffred Duplessis, 
Louis XVI in Coronation Robes, 1777.
Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Lebrun,
Marie Antoinette, 1778.









Upon his sucession to the throne, Louis gave Marie Le Petit Trianon for her sole enjoyment and privacy.
The people of France were outraged.


Le Petit Trianon













18th-century pornographic portrayal of
Marie Antoinette and the duchess of Pequigny
Cartoon satirizing Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette











In 1781, after seven years of marriage, Marie Antoinette gave birth to daughter Marie Therese.
Marie Antoinette will have numerous miscarriages, but will give birth to three more children.
Marie Antoinette's Bedroom at Versailles











In 1783 Adelaide Labille Guiard and Elisabeth Vigee Lebrun were elected to the French Academy.

The Academy protested the election of Lebrun (and the idea of more than one female admission
at one time) but Louis overruled the decision and ordered the election under Marie's pressure.


Adelaide Labille-Guiard, Self-Portrait with Two Pupils, 1785.
Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Lebrun, Self-portrait in Straw Hat, 1782.










Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette with Rose
Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Lebrun,
Marie Antoinette en Chemise, 1783.
Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Lebrun,
Marie Antoinette with Rose, 1783.











Le Hameau

Le Hameau










"Reading, solitude, idleness, a soft and sedentary life, intercourse with women and young people, these are perilous paths for a young man, and these lead him constantly into danger." - Jean Jacques Rousseau
Emile: Or, On Education
by Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1762
Rousseau promoted the idea of the "good mother" = a woman who was completely committed to the care of her children and sacrificed all freedoms for their best interest
  • He demanded that middle class women devote themselves to the care of the family, breastfeeding, and keeping a comfortable home
  • "Rousseau viewed the saloniere as a threat to the natural dominance of men, the salon as a prison in which men were subjected to the rule of women." - Chadwick
Maurice Quentin La Tour.
Jean Jacques Rousseau. 1753.











Marie Antoinette with Children

Adolph-Ulrich Wertmuller, Marie Antoinette with Her Children, 1785 - 1786.


Denounced for depicting “an ugly queen frivolously dressed and gamboling
in front of the Temple of Love at Versailles with her two children.” – Chadwick











Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Lebrun, Portrait of Marie Antoinette with Her Children, 1787.

















"[Early modern] women knew about the contraceptive effect of prolonged breast-feeding. They also made use of sponges, coitus interruptus, and abstinence, none of which was approved by the Church. Condoms made of animal bladders were known but lurked outside of respectability. The English called them 'French Letters'; the French in turn named them 'English hats.'" - Shari L. Thurer in Myths of Motherhood
  • average family in 17th century had 6.5 children
  • average family in the 18th century had 2 children
Rousseau must have seen the freedoms promised to women by birth control as threatening patriarchal control and thus advocated containing women to the domestic sphere because it was her "natural" place
Marguerite  Gerard, Motherhood, c. 1800.