The First Queen of Versailles


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From a very early age and in spite of an ongoing bloody war between her country and that of her future husband, Marie-Thérèse never doubted her destiny as the Queen of France. She was a little short, a little plump, a little shy, and a little too infantile for the role, yet what intuition!  They say that Velazquez had painted for Louis XIV a real caricature of the girl, which nevertheless failed to dissuade the Sun King. The portrait that we see, also by Velazquez, was painted around 1652 and like the one in Vienna, intended for some European court, but had never left Madrid: a blue-eyed blond with full red lips and heavy cheeks; this woman created that iconic queen image that would haunt Marie-Antoinette in the next century– an honest, simple and devoted wife, a mother of six children. Upon her death Louis said that this was the first time she caused him any grief.

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This entry was posted in Court, Louis XIV, Marie-Antoinette, Versailles. Bookmark the permalink.

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