|Oil on canvas, about 1785.|
73 cm x 57 cm. Signed "Boze"
Sadly for Boze, the glittering future was not to be, for his depiction of the Queen, like that of Wertmüller, met with royal displeasure. It was shown at Versailles in the Salon de la paix but remained there only twenty-four hours and, as far as we know, never appeared in a royal residence again. One critic judged that Boze opted for resemblance and majesty at the expense of sensuality and charm, that his work was "weak, or even poor, in terms of art". Certainly, he made the Queen look slightly arrogant, and contributed little to the creation of the sought-for softer, more appealing image. [According to Antonia Fraser, Marie-Antoinette herself came to feel that she had a haughty "high-nosed" look which did not reflect her personality, so one can image she was not too delighted]
Olivier Blanc, Portraits des femmes: artistes et modèles à l'époque de Marie-Antoinette (2006),p.136-7.
"Joseph Boze" in Dictionary of pastellists: http://www.pastellists.com/Articles/Boze.pdf
A note on versions of the portrait
|Photograph in the Bibliothèque nationale, |
70 cm x 58 cm
Painting signed "Boze" .
Belonging in 1906 to
the pastor Goulden, in Sedan.
Blanc mentions a miniature in the Hermitage but I haven't been able.to trace it.
The engraving below is sometimes identified as being after a miniature by Boze in the Hermitage. According to the British Museum, though, it may be from a portrait by Carl Anton Hickel. A look at Hickel's attested work (see right below) suggests that this is correct, and no more versions of the Boze painting need to be assumed.