The bookend Marie-Antoinette with a Rose is directly inspired from a painting by the highly talented portrait artist Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun carried out in 1783, now on display at the Palace of Versailles. This portrait takes up the subject of King Louis XVI's wife as it had been painted in a first version, with the queen in a lighter muslin outfit that caused a scandal at the time.
Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) was the Archduchess of Austria and the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. She married Louis XVI at the age of fourteen, becoming Queen of France at nineteen. She is often associated with the legend that she said "Let them eat brioche" in response to the famine of the French people, although this quote is debatable. Marie Antoinette was criticized for her lavish, spendthrift lifestyle at the court of Versailles, which contributed to the monarchy's unpopularity. She had a moderate influence on politics, but was embroiled in various political scandals, including the necklace affair. She was arrested during the French Revolution, accused of treason and conspiracy against the Republic. She was tried and executed by guillotine in 1793 at the age of 37. Her reign and execution became symbols of the fall of the ancien régime and the end of monarchy in France.
Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun (1755-1842) was a renowned 18th-century French painter, one of the most talented and influential artists of her time. She is best known for her elegant portraits of the French aristocracy, including Queen Marie-Antoinette. Vigée-Lebrun was admitted to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris at a time when women were rare in this institution. She mastered the art of portraiture and developed a distinctive style that captured the grace and personality of her subjects, using vivid colors and soft light. She became Marie-Antoinette's official portraitist, creating a series of paintings that helped shape the queen's public image. Her professional success led her to work in several European courts, including Russia. Vigée-Lebrun survived the French Revolution by going into exile abroad, where she continued to paint. Her work has stood the test of time, and is still considered an outstanding example of 18th-century portrait painting. She paved the way for many future female artists and leaves behind a lasting artistic legacy.
Metal bookend - Quality fabrication Made in EU.