Marie Antoinette: Crown Without a Head

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marie-antoinette-mourning.jpg
Marie Antoinette Imprisoned in the Conciergerie
The Marquise de Bréhan c. 1793-95

Josephe Jeanne Marie Antoinette von Habsburg-Lorraine,
aka Marie Antoinette, Queen of France

(November 2, 1755 – October 16, 1793)

It may be that the champagne glass so familiar today was modeled upon the famous breast of Marie Antoinette, and that her most famed and inflaming quote "Let them eat cake," is fabricated political propoganda, but hindsight renders much of what was so scandalous in her own day, down right trivial by our own standards.

From sycophantic tyrantess, to an obsolete, fluffy-headed haute grandeur, to doomed teen queen, Marie Antoinette's image has been somewhat resurrected in recent years. The truth, in the early years, lies somewhere inbetween this laundry list of feminine archetypes. But it was towards the end, when most of us grow up (she was 37 when she was executed), that her spirit and fortitude shone most. In the end, all pomp gone, she was a dedicated mother, sister, and wife. Brave as a tigress and willing to sacrifice all for her family, this is the picture that is rarely shown in our history books, literature and cinema.

From the fall of the Bastille, July 14th, 1789, til the day of her execution on October 16, 1793, her life became a series of ever shrinking spaces. In 1790 the royal family was taken by force from the palace of Versaille fifteen miles outside of Paris, to a carefully guarded Tuileries Palace in Paris. After a failed attempt to escape in disguise in 1791 to Austria (they were captured in Varenne), rather than bend and except a Republican Monarchy, Marie Antoinette machinated a war with Austria (her home country) that she'd hoped France would lose, and the family would be rescued. The parisienne masses were incensed at such gall, and on August 10, 1792 the mob stormed the Tuileries and massacred the Swiss Guard, while the royal family fled. A few days later Louis XVI was arrested and on September 21 1792 the monarchy in France was officially abolished. The family was moved to the Temple Fortress and put under heavy guard. The Princesse de Lamballe, who up until this point had shared the fate of her closest friend, was seperated from Marie Antoinette and forced to repudiate her. When she refused she was attacked by the mob and beaten to death with a hammer. The story goes that she was torn apart, her head paraded on a pike in front of the Queen's prison window, but the story cannot be substantiated beyond hear say.

[to be written]

marie19.jpg
Marie-Antoinette in Amazone
marie-antoinette-1780.jpg
Marie Antoinette on Horseback
Louis-Auguste Brun 1781-82
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette, a la rose
by Vigée Le Brun
Marie Antoinette
by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1785
Marie Antoinette
Dauphine at Versailles
by L. L. Périn-Salbreux
Marie Antoinette
by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun
marie-antoinette-paysan.jpg
Marie Antoinette
a la Paysan
mmeelisabeth.jpg
Mme Louise-Elisabeth with son
Adelaide Labrille-Guiard, 1788
Marie Antoinette
Lurid Propaganda:
Marie Antoinette & Count Fersen
marie-antoinette-varenne.jpg
Arrest of Louis XVI at Varennes
Pierre-Étienne Lesueur c. 1791
marie-antoinette-ship.jpg
Couiffure à l'Indépendance
French Fashion Caricature
revolutionary-hats.jpg
Early patriotic hats
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette & Mme Elisabeth
are told the King is dead
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
is told the King is dead
marie-antoinette-mourning.jpg
Marie Antoinette Imprisoned in the Conciergerie
Marquise de Bréhan 1793-95
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette in
Mourning for Louis XIV
Marie Antoinette
The Revolutionary Tribunal
of Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
Addressing her
accusers, 19th Cent.
Marie Antoinette
To the scaffold
19th cent.
Marie Antoinette
To The Scaffold
Marie Antoinette
marie-antoinette-scaffold.jpg
Marie Antoinette Taken to the Guillotine
William Hamilton c. 1794

Taken to the Guillotine
Jacques-Louis David, 1793
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
To the Tumbril
Marie Antoinette
The Execution of
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
The Execution of
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
Execution of Marie Antoinette
October 16th, 1793
Marie Antoinette
Detail: Execution of
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
On The Scaffold
Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette's Death Mask, 1793
by Madame Tussaud




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This page contains a single entry by Kallisti published on September 18, 2006 12:38 PM.

The Executioner was the previous entry in this blog.

la Princess(e) de Lamballe is the next entry in this blog.

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