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Marie-Antoinette and the Image of Moral Instruction

T. Lawrence Larkin

Online veröffentlicht:

18 Oct 2023



Long attributed to François-Hubert Drouais or his atelier, a three-quarter length portrait of Marie-Antoinette, together with a curiously inscribed frame, displayed in the lobby of the Hôtel Le Bristol, Paris, serves as a pretext for reconstructing the queen’s practice of gifting portraits of herself to members of her chapel. This essay explores Marie-Antoinette’s tendency in the early part of her reign to entrust the production of portraits to the Cabinet des tableaux. It argues on the basis of stylistic analysis that the Le Bristol portrait was probably the work of Jean-Martial Frédou and on the basis of iconographical analysis that it accommodated the quarrel between philosophes and clerics over reform of the Catholic Church in France, which made it suited to Monsignor du Chilleau, Bishop of Chalon.

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