Marie Antoinette V

The Swedish artist, Martin van Meytens started to paint oils around 1730, having settled in Vienna.  He became very popular as a portrait painter in the circles of the court and aristocracy.  This portrait painted around 1768 is of Marie Antoinette prior to her marriage to the king of France.

The shape of the shoe, typical throughout the 1700s, has an exaggerated toe point and a high heel tucked well under the arch helping enhance the impression of small, delicate feet.

The decoration of these shoes is highly elaborate and reflects the Rococo exuberance of the era.  The embellished dress in the portrait of Marie Antoinette provides many ideas that I have interpreted with impressed & applied patterns and coloured glazes, with platinum then being the precious metal of choice to highlight beads & flowers on the shoes.  The large double blue bows on the dress are mirrored on the toe and over the instep is an ornate cream coloured Rococo style cartouche which ‘frames’ the decoration.

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