Thursday, April 5, 2012

Portrait Drama

Marie Antoinette introduced the simpler fashion of the muslin dress with straw bonnet, similar to the clothing worn by French milkmaids around 1783. She loved the look so much she had her official portrait painted in the outfit and hung in the salon, below La Reine en gaulle

The portrait caused such an upheaval that it had to be removed and hastily replaced with the following portrait, La Reine a la Rose

Marie Antoinette's introduction of the simpler clothing made the French population fearful that she was trying to wipe out French fashion and replace it with Germanic tastes. The placement of the roses in the portrait, the Hapsburg flower, reinforced this fear in the 1783 French population. 

Please excuse all my Marie Antoinette references lately, I am not only a Francophile I also am reading the book Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution for my Symbolism class at the Smithsonian. The book is fabulous! It's an easy read and historically correct, which kills two birds with one stone. You can also check it out from your library instead of purchasing it, win-win-win. 

- Grace

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