The Arrival of the Queen at the Hotel de Ville, 1782

Etching and engravingexpand_more

Gift of Janet and Winton Jonesexpand_more  2001.96.2

Not on Viewexpand_more

The festivities surrounding the birth of a son to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were perhaps the last great fêtes of France's Ancien Régime. The king and queen had been married eleven years before producing a male heir. Here the twenty-five year-old queen is depicted arriving at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting in a long procession of horses and carriages, with the preparations for the evening's fireworks on the square completed. An acute observer of human behavior and fashion, Moreau devotes refreshing attention to the crowd and their enthusiastic reception of the monarch. A decade later, less than two miles from this square, Marie Antoinette would be guillotined in front of a similarly cheering crowd. The young Dauphin, Louis-Joseph, whose birth the crowd celebrates would be spared this violent end, as he died of consumption mere months before the outbreak of the Revolution.

The Arrival of the Queen at the Hotel de Ville
Artist Life
1741 - 1814
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Mahérault 71 Bocher 202 ii/iii
Curator Approved

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