‘As we have it the bust of Nefertiti is artistically and ritualistically complete, exalted, harsh and alien… This is the least consoling of great art works. Its popularity is based on misunderstanding and suppression of its unique features. The proper response to the Nefertiti bust is fear‘ — Camille Paglia - Sexual Personae; art and decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990).
Madame de Pompadour loved art and artists but seems to have a particular fondness for sculpture, commissioning several significant pieces during her tenure as royal mistress. She particularly loved ‘Cupid fashioning a bow out of the club of Hercules’ by Edme Bouchardon.
I’m fascinated by the royal tombs in the Basilica St Denis on the outskirts of Paris and was originally planning to write my dissertation on them before I switched to depictions of Marie Antoinette in post Revolutionary art.
I love how the tombs show the royal personages as they were in life, flattered and surrounded by all their worldly glory and splendour, while below there repose the twisted, decomposing remains of how they actually are.