The Palace of Versailles has just acquired a portrait of Marie-Antoinette, missing for 100 years and rediscovered by chance.
She was only 16 on this portrait
When Queen Marie-Antoinette left the Palace of Versailles in October 1789, she had no idea that she would never return. And this is also what almost happened with one of his portraits that were believed to be gone forever. Because it was not only Elisabeth Vigée le Brun to immortalize the beauty of the queen. In 1755, Joseph Duplessis, official painter of the monarchy, painted a portrait of Marie-Antoinette then Dauphine. She is only 16 years old and knows nothing about her dire destiny. The painter must send the painting entitled Little Marquise to the mother of the future queen, Maria Theresa of Austria and make a copy to be kept at the castle.
Estimated at around forty thousand euros
But now, the two paintings eventually disappear and only one black and white photograph of the original, which was part of the private collection of the Marquise de Ganay, had been preserved. It was long thought that we would never see either one again, when, last November, the copy resurfaced in the Essonne department. It then belongs to a family who wishes to resell it at auction, unaware that it holds a real historical treasure. After expertise, we recognize the famous Little Marquise and we rename it in the wake of Portrait of the Dauphine of France, Marie-Antoinette of Lorraine-Habsbourg (1755-1793). Estimated at around forty thousand euros, it was finally sold for the sum of 175,500 euros and was preempted by the Palace of Versailles, which will therefore reintegrate it into its collections.