Marie Antoinette Metamorphoses of an Image

You might love her, you might hate her, you might feel sorry for her, or think she deserved what she got but Marie Antoinette has not left the world indifferent. Her image is recognized the world over at just a glance. There was a Roger et Gallet ad in a Glamour magazine from 2017 and everyone I showed it too immediately said "that's Marie Antoinette". The grey up-do and some gilt in the background is all you need to recognize her. She has become one of the most visible and recognizable historical figures ever. The expo at the Conciergerie in Paris gives insight into the myriad uses of her image.

Soulier Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, © cliché Patricia Touzard

Will we be talking about Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow or Lady Gaga 200 years after her death? Probably not but we still talk about Marie Antoinette more than 200 years after her death! Perhaps not so much in France as journalists on France Info were discussing the other day. They were wondering why anyone…

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The Golden Age of English Painting

From Reynolds to Turner Masterpieces of the Tate Britainuntil 16 February 2020 Musée du Luxembourg 19, rue Vaugirard, 75006 Paris

The 1760s, the start of the reign of George III, marked a turning point in British art with the triumphant rise of Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) and Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), and saw the founding of the Royal Academy of Arts, of which Reynolds was the first president. The renowned masters of portraiture, Reynolds and Gainsborough competed to raise the genre to new heights of visual and intellectual innovation. They paid tribute to the grand masters while demonstrating acute psychological insight and a command of painting that was always original. The exhibition The Golden Age of English Painting begins by juxtaposing these two painters through full-length portraits and intimate studies that bear a striking resemblance to public figures, members of the royal family and other important people. Here, Re…

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