Marie Antoinette by Elena Bondar
Marie Antoinette

Queen Marie Antoinette en Chemise (1783). After the original painting by Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842).

This controversial portrait of Marie Antoinette in a “muslin” dress, by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1783), was viewed by her critics to be improper for a queen.

The chemise a la reine was introduced by Marie Antoinette in the early 1780s. In contrast to the highly structured garments worn by the French court and society at large, the chemise was incredibly light and simple. However, this portrait launched a scandal and helped to solidify the peoples’ hatred for their queen.

I was captivated by the story of Marie Antoinette, and especially by the levels of detail in this image. This is therefore my version, based on the original painting.


Pixels: 3593 x 5090 pixels (52.3 MP)
Image Size: 20 x 28 inches (182 dpi)
Format: PDF (1.79 MB)
Price: €14

Behind the Canvas

Marie Antoinette, born an Archduchess of Austria, became Dauphine of France in April 1770, upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, Dauphin of France. She assumed the title Queen of France and of Navarre when her husband ascended the throne as Louis XVI in 1774.

Initially charmed by her personality and beauty, the French people eventually came to dislike her, accusing “L’Autrichienne” (which literally means the Austrian (woman), but also suggests the French word “chienne”, meaning bitch) of being profligate, promiscuous, and of harbouring sympathies for France’s enemies, particularly Austria, her country of origin. She became known as Madame Déficit because France’s financial crisis was blamed on her lavish spending.

Louis XVI was deposed and the monarchy abolished in 1792; the royal family was subsequently imprisoned at the Temple Prison. Nine months after her husband’s execution, Marie Antoinette was herself tried, convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of treason to the principles of the revolution, and executed by guillotine on 16 October 1793.

About this Picture

Downloadable large-format PDF image scanned from Elena’s reproduction oil painting. This is a large PDF, ideally suited for printing on canvas. A 2.75 inch (7 cm) ‘Museum style’ white margin is added to each side of the picture to allow for stretching/mounting. After completing the payment process, you will immediately receive a download link for your picture.