Thursday, December 18, 2014

Last Portraits of Marie-Antoinette―Dumont

From Rodama:
 According to Olivier Blanc Dumont, along with Kucharski, was the artist of Marie-Antoinette's "mauvais jours".   He never hid his royalist sympathies and was imprisoned in the Abbaye prison at the end of 1793, to be  liberated only after the fall of Robespierre. He continued to occupy a place in salons of painting from 1789 to 1824 though his work was overshadowed after the Revolution by that of Isabey and Augustin.... 
Marie-Antoinette had herself painted, probably in 1791, as a vestal, standing next to an altar (identified by Olivier Blanc as a altar to amitié) and holding a vase of lilies with an image of Louis XVI.  The pose is a standard one, though it may have been chosen to echo French Revolutionary imagery;  certainly the fleurs-de-lys are an obvious royalist emblem.  It is possible too that the picture portraits the more personal theme of conjugal love elevated into passionate friendship.  Louis XVI was fond of the picture; according to Marguerite Jallut the original gouache stood on his bureau in the Tuileries, whilst a smaller copy accompanied him on the flight to Varennes.

The only version of this work now publicly accessible is an engraving by Pierre-Alexandre Tardieu, begun in 1793 but only completed in 1815, having been interrupted by the Revolution. According to the Louvre database the gouache was formerly in the Collection of the duc de Mouchy and the miniature copy sold by Drouot in 1991. The books by  Marguerite Jallut and Olivier Blanc have reproductions of what are obviously the two different versions, though which is which is not entirely clear!  (Read more.)



julygirl said...

Once the public is against someone as it was against the Queen, nothing was going to change, especially since her enemies continued the negative campaign against her.

elena maria vidal said...

So true!

Kaitlyn said...

Beautiful painting! I've never seen it before. I like the personal meaning behind it.