Most of the French people were unsure about Marie at first because she was an outsider, but as she began to grow on the people as well as the mistresses they started to adore her and her style. Marie had such elaborate styles and loved to wear lavish clothing including the finest Jewelry as well as most unique shoes. Marie had her own style that strayed away from the traditional 18th century dress of that time. The Queen used her dress as a political statement many times throughout her reign and people would do anything to look like Marie.
She certainly had a roller coaster of ride as Queen and dauphine of France, but Marie Antoinette is without doubt an international symbol that is renowned now and will be recognized for years to come. Veggie-Lubber painted the original portrait of Marie Antoinette, La Rein en Gaulle, in 1783. Marie was inspired by Rousseau writings about a life that was more simple and rustic. She wanted to show the world, and the French people, the natural feminine form. Maria’s dress she wore in the portrait was a white muslin dress and she wore a simple sash around her waist with a rose in her hand.
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The background of he original painting was dark and was very gloomy and unusual from most portraits of royals. Instead of a restricting corset, she wore a Gaulle or an informal dress. A Gaulle is softer and simpler than an intricate gown with a stomacher, petticoat, and wide panniers. Marie was also wearing a wide brimmed hat instead of a more traditional pouf. She does not have any white powder in her hair, which is also not normal for a queen to be seen without. Her hair was not curled or styled in any way either, which was very unusual as Marie left her hair how it naturally was.
The queen was seen in an informal setting which was very rare. This was especially true because this portrait was going to be on public display it was very unusual for the queen to be seen in an informal setting. This was seen as direct disrespect for tradition and proper French etiquette at Versailles by many of the French elite. Marie got the idea for her La Rein en Gaulle portrait while she was in her Petite Titration, which was a gift from Louis XVI once he claimed the throne in 1774. Marie Antoinette set up a small fake village outside the Petite Titration.
Here she had her own personal palace at the end of the gardens of Versailles and could manage everyone who came and went, even the King. Marie would come here not only to escape from her formal life as queen, but she could also be a teenager and not have to deal with her royal responsibilities and duties. From a very young age there was much expected form the queen and this put a lot of pressure on her. The queen could live out any fantasy she dreamed at the Petite Titration and many French, even elites, did not know what went on here.
Marie in this portrait however was going far beyond the bounds of good taste, and most who saw the painting thought it reminded them of a chemise and could not believe the queen would allow herself to be painted in Just her underwear. The Gaulle symbolizes Maria’s personality and distinction from everyone else who had come before her. She was not of French descent and did not have the same morals as past queens of France. Instances such as the affair of the diamond necklace gave her negative opinion to the people of the public.
Most historians think that Marie was blameless in the whole event and that Cardinal De Roman was the naive one who fell for the hoax that the La Emotes pulled on the Queen and Cardinal. Most of the French people on the other hand did not believe that Marie was blameless, and thought that she was using the La Emotes as a way to satisfy her august for the Cardinal. The fact that the queen was disappointed at Roan’s acquittal is additional evidence in the case made that Marie disliked the Cardinal. After the acquittal of the Roman the charges were dropped and he was banished to the Abbey of la Chaise-Died as a punishment.
The diamond necklace affair made Marie even more unpopular to the public eye than before. The whole issue made her even more of a liability to her husband as well. Instead of separating the King and Queen both of these issues brought them closer than they had ever been before. Marie was unable to shake the idea of the publics imagination and how she could eve carried out such an extravagant plan for her own personal gains in the end. This hurt Marie and her husband as the French were coming closer and closer to a revolution.
After her husband’s execution on January 21, 1793, Marie sunk into deep mourning and refused to eat or get any exercise. Shortly after her husbands execution the elites of France began talking about a trial for Marie. The Revolutionary Tribunal tried her on October 14 and in contrast of the king, Marie was not given any time to prepare a defense for her trial. Some of the things that she was tried for include having orgies in Versailles, sending millions of livers of money to Austria, plotting to kill the Duke of Orleans, incest with her son, and declaring her son to be the new king of France even though he was not in line to do so.
The Committee of Public Safety had already confirmed her guilty of treason and including all of these other charges Marie finally met her destiny. On October 15, 1793 Marie was beheaded, two and a half weeks before her thirty-eighth birthday. Marie loved lavish clothing and anything that would help her stand out or make a statement to her people. She used her dress to show her individuality and autonomy. Marie did not have a mistress to compete with and so the publics eye was entirely on her from a young age.
Marie took control of her dress and decided what the new trends of dress would be. Clothing was “the currency of social acceptance and of political survival” in the court of Versailles. (Weber pig. 95). The French believed that extraordinary dress was equal to fundamental virtue, and in that time of the division of the political court, Marie wanted to make sure that she was well received by the French people. Her boldest style perhaps was when she wore her masculine equestrian outfit while riding.
Marie also used her power to show her disgust for the tight fitting corsets of traditional 18th century dress. She would wear what the French told her to wear at a younger age when she had no choice but soon after she became comfortable with herself and her power of queen in France, Marie wanted to show the people her individuality and create new fashions for all young girls in France to copy. An instance where Marie was hurt in the publics eye was when she wore a very flashy pouf to honor the victory of a naval ship.
Her hair was covered in powder and when talking to the crowd about the victory she told the people that, “France needs airships more than she needs diamonds” (Grimm pig. 15). This did not fair well with the French people because she was wearing such an ornate outfit while the rest of the country was stuck in poverty because of the war. Many of her French people starving because of a shortage of flour while she had abundance and could afford to use it in her powder that she put in her hair. This was a main ingredient of the powder that was used for hair decoration.
This any many other issues lead to the revolt of the French and lead to the revolution. A political statement that Marie made as when she wore a pouf incorporating symbols of the Greek god of medical knowledge and also an olive tree, which is a symbol of wisdom. This pouf was specially made after she convinced Louis, her husband, to get a small pox vaccination. Marie was familiar to the procedure because it was of Austrian descent, but Louis and the rest of the French people were not and the French people did not agree with her.
After Louis trusted his wife and sided with her, Marie had the pouf made. This was a bold political statement made to the people saying that she was in facet the one in charge and could control her husband even if the people wanted meeting different. In conclusion clothing has been an instrumental part of distinguishing ourselves from the person next to us. It is used to create political and social statements. It is used to differentiate the King from the peasant and the emperor from the plebian.
From the toga to the ball gown each piece of clothing is unique and can play a role in telling one another apart. An emperor would have the finest tunics and most extravagant togas. He would most likely have a lyrical that would have the finest metals found on earth as well. In the time of the Romans the emperors were the only ones who could afford this Loris’s or the silk and finer materials. Compared to a simple plebian that would most likely only be able to afford wool tunics.
King Louis the XIV from the 17th century who was the grandfather of Louis XVI (Maria’s husband), began to make fashion an important thing in France and to men. He became King at age 5 and moved the court to Versailles. He loved extravagant things and took France into a deep debt. He was the original leader of fashion and was part of the most stunning, beribboned, bejewel, and bewigged period of all time. During the early 19th century in England there was a type of man called a Dandy who as concerned about perfect dress more than any many who came before.
He wanted let everyone know that he was a very neat and sophisticated individual. This in fact lead to men in the 20th century who are considered metropolises or wear flamboyant clothing like those in the early sass’s. Men in London, England especially took part in dressing in all sorts of colors and designs. The peacock dress that they displayed was a result of the Dandy and Macaroni who came before them. Marie used clothing no differently than people before and she gave people after her a great Essen to learn from.