Monday, June 16, 2014

A caricature of Louis XV and Madame du Barry

Marie Antoinette was not the only figure in the French court to deal with an onslaught of caricatures, propaganda and slanderous pamphlets. Madame du Barry, who was heavily criticized by the denizens of Versailles even before her official presentation at court, was also the subject of frequent literary attacks. These attacks took the form of popular court ditties, published pamphlets, such as one which claimed to reveal the secret lurid history of the king's new mistress, as well as caricatures.
The above undated caricature is believed to depict du Barry and Louis XV; the pair are portrayed here as two birds perched on an ornate sofa in an apartment at Versailles. Both are wearing symbols of their status, such as jewels and a sword, despite their degrading animal form.

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