Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

59

Date

2010

Date of Award

4-30-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Art History

Concentration

General Art History

Committee Chair

William McKeown

Committee Member

Fred Albertson

Committee Member

Todd Richardson

Abstract

In this thesis, I will investigate the iconographic significance of Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun’s Marie-Antoinettte en Velours Bleu by analyzing Education of the Virgin scenes and other contemporary eighteenth-century portraits of women reading. I will begin with an in-depth look at largely Spanish Education of the Virgin scenes and establish the Virgin Mary with her book as both the subject of God’s patriarchal authority and a source of influence for subsequent allegorical portraits. I will then analyze a small group of eighteenth-century portraits of women with books, also establishing them well within the boundaries of the gendered norms—men as worldly and cultured, women as private and domestic. Finally, I will discuss the Velours Bleu portrait as a case study within a genre of portraiture that depicts women reading. In light of its Marian imagery, the portrait emerges as a visual testimony to Marie-Antoinette’s submission and obedience to her king-husband, Louis XVI.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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