10 April 2009

Sugary Summery Colours

The Swiss-born, 18th century artist Jean-√Čtienne Liotard (1702-89) parlayed his skill, chiefly in pastel, to become portraitist to royalty (and the merely rich) in half a dozen countries. In his portraits Archduchess Maria Karolina of Austria (1762, bottom) and Archduchess Marie-Antoinette of Austria (1762), you can sense the different personalities of the two sisters. Maria Karolina, calm and resolute (age 10!), became the wife of Ferdinand IV, king of Naples, and made a more determined monarch than her negligent spouse, meanwhile bearing 17 children.
Her sister, Marie Antoinette, pictured imperiously sewing, and arrogant, became queen of France... and then off with her head!


  1. Aiyo! The pics look so deviant! Even the cheery Easter pastels cannot hide it.

  2. yes, a bit sinister... they seem to have secrets?