Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Last Dauphine

The Ornamentalist shares part of her family collection of rare miniatures, the above being a portrait of Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte of France, the daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. There are some miniatures of Marie-Antoinette as well. To quote:
This miniature was part of a collection assembled by my great-grandmother, who was something of a francophile.

The portrait subject was unknown to me until recently when I opened the frame and discovered her name written on the back: La Dauphine Duchesse D'Angoulême. The painting is signed in the lower right front Chatain. After a bit of research I found that the noted miniaturist Hippolyte-Louis Garnier (best known to San Franciscans for his portrait of Lola Montez) had done a portrait of S.A.R. le Mme. La Dauphine, Duchesse D'Angoulême, around 1825, and made this lithograph after that painting. Chatain almost certainly copied after the same work by Garnier.

Marie-Thérèse Charlotte de France (1778-1851) was the Crown Princess and Duchess of Angoulême. She was the daughter of King Louis XVI and Marie Antionette, sole survivor of her immediate family, and the wife of Louis Antoine of Artois, the Duke of Angoulême. During the time this portrait was created she was in line to become the Queen of France, a title she subsequently held for a mere 20 minutes. She spent most of her adult life in exile in England and Scotland.

You can read more about the life of Marie-Thérèse in the historical novel Madame Royale by Elena Maria Vidal, and on Elena's blog, Tea at Trianon.


Matterhorn said...

This is a lovely miniature of Madame Royale. She always has a very noble expression. But so much sadness...

Lynne Rutter said...

thanks for the mention! I believe Marie-Therese was much more attractive than this portrait, which was painted by someone who was a copiest, not a skilled portrait painter.
I hope to be posting more of the collection soon.
I am thrilled to have found your lovely blog.

Julygirl said...

What a wonderful treasure to have in the family!

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, Matterhorn, she knew who she was and never forgot where she had been.

Lynne, I am delighted to have found your blog, which I will be watching from now on. Thank you for mentioning my book.

Yes, Julygirl, isn't it a treasure!

Juliet Grey said...

Intriguing portrait; she seems to have much more of her father's features, especially in her jawline and the shape of her head; far more Bourbon than Hapsburg. I have always struggled to understand why she hated her mother so much.

elena maria vidal said...

Oh, I don't think she hated her mother at all. When she was little she rebelled against her mother's discipline as do many children, but she was devoted to both of her parents. All one has to do is read her Memoirs.

elena maria vidal said...

For example, here is what MTC scratched on the wall oh her prison:

"Marie-Thérèse is the most unhappy creature in the world. She can obtain no news of her mother; nor be reunited to her, though she has asked it a thousand times."

"Live, my good mother! whom I love well, but of whom I can hear no tidings."

"O my father! watch over me from heaven above."

O my God! forgive those who have made my family die."