Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Marie-Antoinette with a Portrait of Her Mother

Marie-Antoinette with a portrait of her mother Empress Maria Theresa, via Vive la Reine. The  portrait is being held by a female figure known as "Eugenia" or "Nobility" to whom the Queen of France is offering a statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of Wisdom. "Eugenia" is holding a shield with the Habsburg imperial eagle. The Queen is wearing a crown of roses. It is interesting that there is a legend of a St. Eugenia who disguised herself as a man in order to join a monastery, similar to the Pope Joan story. But I do not know if any connection with St. Eugenia is intended by the female personage garbed as a soldier. The print is dated 1780, the year of the death of the great Maria Theresa, who had to assume the responsibilities of a male ruler throughout her adult life.


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