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Todd Lawrence Larkin
Montana State University (Bozeman, MT 59717-2470)
Marie-Antoinette and Her Portraits: The Politics of Queenly Self-Imaging in Late Eighteenth-Century France

This project critically examines the intended function and public reception of six portraits of Marie-Antoinette which she commissioned and exhibited during her reign as queen of France (1774-1792). Drawing upon a wealth of literary and visual resources, the author demonstrates that while Marie-Antoinette intended her portraits to define her rank, duties and prerogatives as consort, critics often viewed the royal images as challenging the traditional passive identity prescribed for a consort and, therefore, the patriarchal basis of French society and government. This work is of fundamental importance to the humanities, facilitating an understanding of the potentialities and hazards of identity formation in the early modern era.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2004 – 7/31/2004