Biography of Marie-Antoinette | Queen of France.

(Vienna, 1755 - Paris, 1793) Queen of France. Daughter of the emperors of Austria, Francisco I and María Teresa, married in 1770 with the Dauphin of France, Luis, who ascended the throne in 1774 with the name of Luis XVI. Frivolous and fickle woman, surrounded by a coterie of intriguing and expensive tastes, soon earned fame of wasteful and reactionary. It exerted a strong political influence over her husband (he never loved), he ignored the misery of the people and, with their licentious behaviour, contributed to the discredit of the monarchy in the years preceding the French Revolution.

Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France
But perhaps what he most remembers María Antoinette is his final dramatic: arrested along with the King and other nobles while attempting to flee from Paris, was tried by the Revolutionary Court and sentenced to die on the guillotine. At ten and a half in the morning of the day, October 16, 1793, the painter David, comfortably installed on the terrace of Café La Regence in the Parisian Saint-Honoré Street, made a point of the native of Queen María-Antoinette the gallows road. They had it sitting on a cart and it was going to be executed on the guillotine after more than one year of Calvary. The drawing presents to the Queen as a pathetic Specter, headpiece with a ridiculous Cap-famula under which overlook a few strands of straight hair. His lips, knitted by agony, shows even a pride that seems to defy the mob. It is a cruel note, in which the artist wanted to dispossess his victim from any residue of splendor or beauty, showing her the fierce captive who could no longer more practice their perversities. For the crowd that watched it that day, María-Antoinette was the incarnation of evil; for many others it was a Queen martyr and a symbol of Majesty and completeness. That dispossession that David saw pass heading to the gallows had been, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful Queens that had Europe and the most exquisite jewel of France.
Since its birth in 1755, Maria Antonieta Josefa Ana of Austria, better known as María Antonieta de Austria, had lived immersed in the lavishness of the Viennese Court, surrounded by attention and tenderness. His father, the Emperor Francisco I, loved it. The Empress María Teresa, as the whole country, was rapt with her daughter and could not deny any whim. His two favorite diversions were playing with many siblings in the gardens of the Palace of Schoenbrunn and hide from their teachers. The composer Gluck barely managed to make it a mediocre performer of harpsichord, and their language teachers only managed to speak French pretty badly and that he expressed in German correctly, but could never teach spelling, because the Princess became sad and disarmed them with lovely mohines.
At age 12, he knew that it was going to be Queen of France. His mother set out to make her a perfect Parisian Princess and assigned two experts who handle to bottom of the future Royal head: an ecclesiastical tutor and an illustrious Barber. The first was to strengthen his faith and his French; It was entrusted to the second no less delicate mission to build a Versailles Golden Tower full of loops in the hair of the infanta. A week later, both are confessed defeated. The tutor said that María-Antoinette had an ingenious and awake, but rebel brain to all instruction; Barber could not finish his work due to too high, domed forehead of the young woman.

María Antonieta de Austria to the thirteen or fourteen, playing the harpsichord (Franz Xaver Wagenschön oil)
At age 14, when she married the Duke of Berry, then dolphin and future King Luis XVI, María-Antoinette was already a delicious girl beautifully formed, with an exquisite oval face, skin of color between the lily and the pink, blue and bright eyes able to condemn a Saint, a long, slender neck and a walk worthy of a young goddess. For French taste, only his mouth, small and equipped with the disdainful lip of the Habsburgs, was unpleasant. The English writer Horace Walpole, it appreciated its charms during a wedding celebration, he wrote: "only had eyes for María-Antoinette. When standing or sitting, it is the statue of beauty; When it moves, it is grace in person. It is said that, when you dance, do not save the measure; undoubtedly, the measure is wrong..."
Marriage to the future King of France was blessed on May 16, 1770. There was pomp, parades, great feasts and solemnities. Soon after, in the evening, there was nothing. So consignaría dolphin in his diary on the morning of the day 17: "Rien." A single and annoying Word will continue to write for seven years, until she has the first of their four children. Marie-Antoinette, vital and little inclined to holiness, I was supremely bored with her husband and soon began to go out incognito by night, hidden behind the mask of velvet or satin mask, and compensate with something more than simple compliments.
Queen of France
As for the Dauphin, it was robust and good-natured, but also weak and not too smart. Become Luis XVI at age 20, María-Antoinette will write to his mother: "what will become of us? My husband and I are scared of being so young kings. Mother of the soul, advises the unhappy kids in this fateful hour! "." Marie Antoinette soon became scandalous symbol of the most licentious Court of Europe. It was please and act wisely, but it failed.
His faults, exaggerated by the opinion public and considered as a living example of the indulgence of the Court, were not other than his contempt for the French label, his antics and the constant search for pleasures in lavish group of the count of Artois, as well as their capricious interference in the Affairs of State to lionize its favorite. Wasteful, unwise and mocking, the underground press began to paint it as being depraved and sold to the interests of the House of Austria. Slander sprinkled his throne, being exaggerated to paroxysm by the hope of the revolution. According to the pamphlets, the list of her lovers was endless and worthy of a Messalina excesses. Soon he was known among the people with the derogatory nickname of "Austrian".

Detail of a portrait of Antoinette María
(Jean-Baptiste Gautier Dagoty, 1775)
In 1785, a new scandal attributed to his greed came to damage his already beleaguered fame more. Whole issue revolved around the richest jewel of the time. The famous necklace, made by the best silversmiths of Paris for madame Du Barry, favorite of King Luis XV, was an intractable piece. Its more than a thousand diamonds, rubies and emeralds seemed to have been patiently forged by the gods in the bowels of the Earth for the sole purpose of receiving the caress of gold in a precise location of the jewel. Dead the Du Barry until the work ends, would be given the Countess de La Motte, adventurer who served in the Court and belonged to the circle of the dark count Cagliostro, embaucó to the cardinal Louis de Rohan, rich and dissolute courtier disgraced, believing that María-Antoinette wanted to get the gorgeous necklace and that, not having enough money She was willing to sign a purchase contract if he guaranteed it.
The Cardinal, eager to ingratiate himself with María Antoinette, interviewed who believed that it was the Queen, supplanted by a beautiful young named D'oliva, agreed to his request and the 1 February 1785 collar was transferred to Versailles. But failed at the hands of the Queen, but by a succession of intrigues went to the Countess de La Motte, who disappeared from Paris with her husband and devoted himself to busily selling gems separately. Once discovered the scam, the Countess said be intimate María Antoinette favorite and wielded some compromising letters from Queen counterfeit. Marie-Antoinette was accused of intriguing and ambitious, and although the trial proved his innocence, the political campaign orchestrated to discredit it succeeded. Cardinal de Rohan was banished, the Countess de La Motte publicly whipped and her husband sentenced to the gallows, but exemplary punishment could not delete the new affront that had fallen on the honor of the Queen.
The revolution
The fall of the monarchy was forged in a few months. Luis XVI or María-Antoinette understood the nature of the changes that ahead, causing his own ruin. There was no possibility of reconciliation between the people and the King. The attempt of flight of the monarchs did not but accentuate this rupture and promoting that the country had turned their backs on the Crown.
The Swedish count Axel de Fersen, most faithful lover of María Antoinette, was responsible for preparing the plan of escape with a group of select and secret monarchists. The Royal family should flee Paris Tuileries leaving during the night by a backdoor and leaving a traditional accents proclamation to the people of Paris: "go back to your King; He will always be your father, your best friend." They only managed to get to Varennes, where they were recognized and arrested. When Luis XVI read the decree which obliged him to return, said: "There is no King in France". Legislature had no choice but to submit to revolutionaries like Robespierre and Danton ringleaders. He could not help the assault by the masses of the Royal residence, snatched the powers the King and allowed that he was imprisoned in the Tower of the Temple. Then, for royalty, it was not but a tragic epilogue.

Marie-Antoinette is carried to the Revolutionary Court
Antoinette accompanied her husband to the prison showing a value that gentled her figure, bordering then on heroism to pathetic calmly accept the separation from her children and her husband in January 1793 execution. Transferred to the Conciergerie seven months later and locked in a cell without light or air, without shelter, guarded at all times by guards drunk many times, their nerves were on the verge of breaking on the eve of the trial. But he resisted.
During the process he tried to defend themselves with their last remnants of dignity, answered in terms that they mistook their cruel enemies and, before the Supreme prosecution have corrupted their children, first kept silence and then heading for the public, said: "I appeal to all the mothers who are here!" The deliberations of the Court lasted three days and three nights, being finally convicted of high treason as "widow of the Capet". On October 16, 1793, mid morning, it would be exhibited in cart by Paris in the eyes of the crowd and Jacques-Louis David, "the painter of the revolution".
No image more expressive or more eloquent of enormous change that had operated it as his famous picture: there is no like any between the human ruin marching to the encounter of their destiny and the woman who had been, according to Walpole, you appreciate elegance personified. Then it would slowly raise the steps of the gallows, they redoubling the drums, he would drop the blade and his head bloodied, grabbed by the hair by one of the executioners, would be shown to the vociferous crowd.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities

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