Thursday, September 12, 2013

Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and the Dauphin Louis-Charles

Conjugem sequerer meum, Nisi hic teneret.~ Seneca's Troades

According to the Waddesdon Rothschild Collection:
In the medallion, Marie-Antoinette is placed on the left, Louis XVI on the right and Louis-Charles between them in the front. Marie-Antoinette has a tall hairstyle decorated with feathers and flowers. She wears an ermine cape decorated with fleur-de-lis. Louis XVI wears a lace collar and an ermine cape also decorated with fleur-de-lis. Louis-Charles wears an open collar and a sash.....

The print quotes from Seneca's Troades, a passage where Andromache states that she'd follow her husband (Hektor) into death if her son (Astyanax) did not bind her to life. Using a classical tragedy in this context serves to highlight the tragedy of the royal family. The interpretation could change depending on whether this was created before or after Louis-Charles' death on 8 June 1795. Paul thinks it is more likely to date after Louis-Charles' death. (Read more.)

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