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.
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