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Mme. de Montespan- final by suburbanbeatnik Mme. de Montespan- final by suburbanbeatnik
This is the final for a sketch I did recently- [link] - at the suggestion of :iconharu-de-meziere:. Athénaïs, the marquise de Montespan, was one of the mistresses of Louis XIV, and she was a voluptuous, infamous courtesan, rumored to be a satanist, poisoner and witch. (And to quote Leela from Futurama, she was one of those witches that hurt people, not the kind that dance around on the Equinox.) There's embroidery of apples on her skirt to symbolize the fall of Eve, and there's a number of poisonous plants in the garden, including yew and monkshood.

Athénaïs is attired in the height of French mid-1670s fashion, in long-waisted low-cut bodice, a blue-violet satin gown, and a rose brocaded petticoat. This is the first full-length costume painting I've done in ages, and it certainly was a challenge getting the textures of the satin and the brocade right! But, I'm pleased with how it came out.
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:iconpaul-rosenkavalier:
paul-rosenkavalier Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is beautiful!  I love the attention to detail, and her sly and rather inscrutable expression is perfect.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I did this piece years ago, but I'm still fond of it. 
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:iconpaul-rosenkavalier:
paul-rosenkavalier Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I can see why - it's a lovely piece of work.  :)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :) 
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:iconmohnlied:
Mohnlied Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
She's gorgeous. I especially love her hair and her facial expression.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
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:iconm16tronaz:
M16Tronaz Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013
your work with colors is amazing !
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
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:iconstevenshipman:
stevenshipman Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011
LOVE this!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!
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:iconilojleen:
Ilojleen Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2010   Traditional Artist
What a masterpiece! It's wonderful. I like the colours of the drawing, her pose and her dress is just stunning, I love it the most! :heart:
I'm currently writing the BA dissertation about royal mistresses and have just finished a chapter about madame de Montespan. She was such an intriguing person, so passionate and determinated. And, excuse me my choice of words, quite a bitch, too, judging by her attitude to other people :XD:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I'm so glad you like it. I was inspired by "The Oracle Glass" by Judith Merkle Riley, one of my favorite historical novels ever. Your dissertation sound fascinating!

If you're interested, I sell prints of it here: [link]
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:iconmutemouia:
Mutemouia Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Totally wonderful ! :love: :heart:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! :)
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:iconmutemouia:
Mutemouia Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Just the truth ! :)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
:D
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:iconnorskie:
Norskie Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009
Really pretty! :D
I love her hair. And her expression ;)
I recently read about her in "Love and Louis XIV", she was quite the intriguing character! :D
Great rendition of her :heart:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!
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:iconspiritoftheshadow:
SpiritOfTheShadow Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009
This is extremely beautiful :)
I love Your gallery.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
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:iconachen089:
Achen089 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2009   Traditional Artist
Another beautiful piece.I really like the dress and setting and how you created all those little but meaningful details like the apple patterns on the dress and the poisonous trees in the background.Her pose and expression are perfectly fitting too.
I actually like the whole composition.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! This was one of my first major full-length costume pieces, so it was fun figuring out all the details, and getting the costume right too. Do you know anything about Madame de Montespan? She was definitely a piece of work!
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:iconachen089:
Achen089 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2009   Traditional Artist
I actually looked her up after seeing your painting - they're both quite intriguing,your portrayal and she herself.I think you did her justice.
You're welcome and bravo once more. :)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I'm quite interested by the fact she was always changing hair color. Apparently Louis XIV liked blondes, so she dyed her hair. She also drugged him with love potions when he didn't immediately respond to her charms.

Have you read Judith Merkle Riley's "The Oracle Glass"? Definitely a must-read for those interested in this period!
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:iconachen089:
Achen089 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2009   Traditional Artist
Oh dear,what a woman!For that time that is.I do like historical women who were dynamic,even if notoriously named by their contemporaries or later.

I have not heard the book,but i'll look it up - is is historical fiction or just historical?I enjoy either anyway,thanks for suggesting!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
"Oracle Glass" is a novel. It's really good. I think you'd really enjoy it.

On the more factual side is Eleanor Herman's "Sex with Kings" which is a fun read about royal mistresses at European courts. Montespan gets a lot of ink in that one too. She was definitely a piece of work...
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:iconachen089:
Achen089 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2009   Traditional Artist
Hey,i looked up both books and liked the plots and reviews indeed.I ordered them and will be reading them sometime soon.
Once more,thanks for the interesting talk and infos and suggestions! :)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh, awesome- once you read them, let me know what you think!
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:iconariani101:
ArianI101 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2009
It's very well done, the colour, the dress, her face, sje's really up to no good! But wasn't she blonde?
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
That's what Antonia Fraser says, but other sources I've found said she bleached her hair because Louis XIV liked blonds. And she really seems to have a different hair color in every picture I've seen of her. She was probably a natural brunette, but some pics seem to give her auburn highlights.

Anyway, thanks- glad you like the pic!
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:iconsherwin-prague:
sherwin-prague Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your drawing reminds me of portraits of the barocque and rococo era - very well done! Nice athmosphere :-)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I really appreciate that. As you can probably tell, I'm a big fan of 17th-18th century portraiture, esp. Van Dyck, Hogarth and Gainsborough. :)
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:icondesertkitton:
DesertKitton Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2007
Fantastic! A figure of history who definitely deserves illustration. It's amazing how you've captured her face as realistic, stylized, *and* true to her portraits all at the same time.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for the lovely compliment! I'm a big fan of 17th century portraiture, if you couldn't already tell. :D
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:iconsolfieri:
solfieri Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Fantastic work, I love to see an artist that puts so much thought into doing research to make a drawing more faithful to reality. I love how everything, from the garden plants to the clothes she wears, has been put so much effort. My favourite part is her face though, her features do remember those old portrait paintings! And still she's very expressive! =D
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :D As a children's book illustrator, I know how important details are, since kids will stare and stare at a painting for what seems like hours (at least, I know that I did). And I love those old portraits... those guys back then really knew how to paint!

By the way, what do you think of my latest piece, here? [link]
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:iconpersephonestock:
PersephoneStock Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Have you seen the musical Le Roi Soleil?
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
No, I haven't. I'm guessing that it's about Louis XIV?
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:iconpersephonestock:
PersephoneStock Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Yes, it's a French musical (my friends and I learned about it in French class), that is essentially about the life of Louis XIV, even though it is a slightly skewed version.
You can look it up on iTunes, as they FINALLY have the soundtrack as well as a music video, or just search it. It's pretty fun, if you're a Louis fan you'd probably enjoy it... even if you don't understand French (as I hardly do). But if you do, so much more the better.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, I checked clips of it on Youtube, and it's a bit too Eurovision song contest for my taste. But thanks for letting me know about it! :)
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:iconblightedangel:
blightedangel Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Her face is marvelous, you really captured the style of painting of the time, but with this wicked smirk that belies her true personality. If I may ask, how big is this in real life? I'm assuming it's large, as your details are so...detailed.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! It's 10 1/4 by 15 3/4. That and the Edward/Piers paintings are the last large-scale paintings I've done... I've been trying to be as detailed, but on a smaller scale (it makes it easier to scan). :P

As you can tell, I really love a lot of 17th cent. painters... Van Dyck and Velasquez were brilliant at capturing personalities, in addition to giving the paintings an epic sweep that just sort of suck you in. I'm flattered you think that I can even compare! :)
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:iconalkahinat:
alKahinat Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2007
She is perfect. :clap:
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:iconfleeciewalls:
fleeciewalls Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2007
Amazing! Her expression is gorgeous.
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:iconmrsgrimawormtongue:
MrsGrimaWormtongue Featured By Owner May 7, 2007
oh I love this. Enouigh to create a DA account to comment. She looks so sneaky and cunning. Great job as usual. BUNNIES!
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:iconprimulatook:
primulatook Featured By Owner May 3, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
she's wonderful!
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:iconzoozee:
zoozee Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Beautiful :heart:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! :)
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:iconzoozee:
zoozee Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
You are most welcome - only my pleasure :heart:
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:iconluffy-chan:
Luffy-chan Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2007
Amazing!!!!
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March 16, 2007
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