Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Death of Baby Sophie

Vive La Reine reminds us of the death of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette's youngest child, HERE. The portrait below was originally supposed to be a happy one, of the Queen and her children preparing the cradle for the new baby. The Queen is wearing a maternity dress. However, by the time the painting was completed the baby, Madame Sophie, had died and so the artist, Madame Lebrun, had to cover the cradle with black crêpe. Here is a quote from a letter of Madame Elizabeth's:
The queen is very kind to me just now; we are going together to Saint-Cyr, which she calls my cradle. She calls Montreuil my little Trianon. I have been to hers the last few days with her, without any consequences, and there was no attention she did not show me. She prepared for me one of those surprises in which she excels; but what we did most was to weep over the death of my poor little niece [Madame Sophie.]
The Empty Cradle 

1 comment:

May said...

I wish this little Princess could have grown up to be a companion to her big sister Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte! For Sophie's own sake, though, perhaps it was a blessing that she was spared the horrors of the Revolution. Doubtless she was also better able to help her family from the vantage point of Heaven.