Marie-Antoinette is perhaps best known for her unfortunate demise at the hands of French revolutionaries. However, the queen was a woman of remarkable wealth and taste, which was captured with immense talent through the brush and paint of Louis-Auguste Brun.
Opened on March 4, “Louis-August Brun, Painter to Marie-Antoinette: From Prangins to Versailles” is an outstanding opportunity for art lovers and connoisseurs alike to consume the propagandistic — yet true to life — representations of the most infamous queen in France’s history. The exhibition, which is on view at the Swiss National Museum, boasts some 100 works by Louis-August Brun, and none more well-known than his two equestrian portraits of Marie-Antoinette.

Louis-Auguste Brun, “River Landscape with Patrician Residence,” circa 1776-1778, oil on canvas, 194 x 179 cm.
(c) Claude Bornand, Lausanne 2016

While the equestrian portraits are the focus of the exhibition, Brun had a remarkable career in which he represented other dignitaries, animals, and landscapes. Indeed, the exhibition is a superb overview of Brun’s entire oeuvre and highlights the painter’s personal journey from a local craftsman in the village of Rolle, Switzerland, to the luxuries of the Palace of Versailles.
In addition to the exquisite paintings, there are a number of other coordinated events, including a film that retells the final years of the artist’s life. Further, a Marie-Antoinette-inspired menu was specially crafted at the museum’s café — a delectable experience, to be sure. The exhibition will hang through July 10.
To learn more, visit the Swiss National Museum.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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