There is no hair more iconic, perhaps, than Marie Antoinette's elaborately curled and beribboned wigs. Her daringly avant-garde style and her love of fashion took Versailles by storm, and the ladies of court were constantly trying to emulate the Queen’s frequently changing coiffure. As young aristocrats in the 18th Century, women (although in a position of social power) were obviously not in a position to express themselves freely or assertively. Perhaps the young Queen of France used her love of fashion as a way of expressing herself when in all other areas (marriage, politics) she was rather a lost soul. One of the most well known trends of this period was for miniature models of war ships to be placed upon rolling waves of curls, in celebration of French Navy victories against the British.
Study of a boy’s Head.
Oil on panel.
37.8 x 29 cm.
Art by Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert.(1613-1654).
"A silversmith, undoubtedly a specialist in ornamental silver, skillfully made this silbereinband, or solid silver binding, in the late seventeenth century. The artist, possibly from Bavaria, executed the design in relief. Christ, holding a cross, is represented on the spine, with a snake and a skull at his feet, symbolizing his triumph over Satan and death. Christ’s blood, gathered in a cup, refers to the Sacrament of Communion. On the front of the binding is a beautiful interpretation of the Last Supper, similar to the style of Italian sculptures of the sixteenth century. The heads of small winged guardian angels peek from the corners. The two silver clasps are adorned with floral motifs. The book enclosed in this silver binding is a late-sixteenth-century edition of an explanation of the ecclesiastical liturgy."
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