Monday, September 21, 2009

Marie-Antoinette as Erato

I came across this painting of Marie-Antoinette and found it quite unusual. The Queen is cast in the role of Erato, the Muse of lyric (especially love) poetry. The painting, by Ludwig Guttenbrunn, is supposed to be dated 1788. Does anyone know what the circumstances were and why Marie-Antoinette would be portrayed in this guise? I was not able to find out much.
For comparison, here is a Roman statue of Erato. It strikes me that the classical image is much more austere. The painting seems so floral and decorative!

9 comments:

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

I have no help to offer, sorry, but that is a beautiful painting of Marie Antoinette!

elena maria vidal said...

The Queen had a great love of music and was a patroness of the opera. She also paid for the music lessons of poor children.

Matterhorn said...

Yes, I can see how she could be a kind of "Muse" figure! It also suggests her youth, grace, love and beauty.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I am fascinated by the classical poses fashionable in eighteenth century paintings.

Would you know, Matterhorn, if this pose was the Queen's idea or the painter's? Or were such mythical allusions so commonplace in people's imaginations that it doesn't really matter who thought of it first?

Matterhorn said...

Hi Enbrethiliel:) Sadly, I don't know the background story for this painting- that's what I was hoping to find out. I think it's gorgeous though- very poetic.

Elisa said...

I belong to a discussion forum on Marie-Antoinette. I'm sure my fellow members will love seeing these lovely portraits!

Matterhorn said...

Great, and maybe somebody will have some interesting information on this!

Alex Engwete said...

What was the name of her chateau again? I read somewhere that she used to stage plays there, with herself as actress. That's also worth looking into...

Matterhorn said...

It was the "Petit Trianon." Elena-Maria's blog, Tea at Trianon, has alot of fascinating information on Marie-Antoinette and life during her time.

teaattrianon.blogspot.com