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A Reign of Decadence and Defiance (Ode to Marie Antoinette)

A Reign of Decadence and Defiance (Ode to Marie Antoinette)

Title | A Reign of Decadence and Defiance (Ode to Marie Antoinette) Type | Original 3D Papercut Cyanotype
Inspiration | Margaret Fountaine
Year | 2024

Materials | 3D papercut cyanotype collage, cotton rag handmade paper

9.05in x 11.5in x 1.6in deep 


This artwork was inspired by French Monarch, Marie Antoinette.

Marie Antoinette, the iconic Queen of France during the late 18th century, is a figure of both intrigue and tragedy. Her reign at the lavish court of Versailles symbolized opulence and extravagance, yet it was marked by the tumultuous backdrop of the French Revolution. She was the last queen of France and is a far more complex figure than the symbol of royal excess she is often portrayed as. Her life’s journey, from a fairytale to a tragic end, is a vivid lesson in resilience. She became queen at a young age and navigated a world dominated by men, constantly under intense public scrutiny.

Despite being criticised for her lifestyle during France’s economic struggles, she showed remarkable strength and poise in the face of adversity. Marie Antoinette broke from the restrictive norms of her time, embracing a unique fashion sense and supporting artists and innovators. Her courage, even as she faced her tragic fate, serves as an enduring symbol of grace under pressure. For modern women, her story can inspire strength, individuality, and the courage to stand tall in the face of criticism.

Born into the Austrian royal family, Marie Antoinette's journey to the throne of France was marked by grandeur and excess. Her extravagant lifestyle, exquisite fashion, and patronage of the arts became legendary, earning her a place in history as a symbol of excess and privilege. Yet, behind the luxurious façade was a woman navigating a complex and tumultuous political landscape. Marie Antoinette faced immense pressures and expectations as she grappled with the challenges of monarchy during a time of social upheaval.

Her life, ultimately cut short by the guillotine during the French Revolution, is a stark reminder of the power and perils of royalty in a changing world. Marie Antoinette's legacy is

one of contradictions, representing the allure of luxury and the harsh realities of political turmoil. Her story continues to captivate as a cautionary tale of the intersection between power, privilege, and the relentless march of history.


A Reign of Decadence and Defiance (Ode to Marie Antoinette) was created by constructing a hand-cut collage using female photographic portraiture, photographs of miniature gourmet cakes, whipped cream swirls and ice cream sundaes creating a wig structure.

After coating the handmade paper with light-sensitive chemistry, it is left to dry in a dark room. The large scale negative is then contact printed onto the paper by exposing to daylight (UV rays). The print is then processed by thoroughly washing in water to remove any unexposed solution. It can then be hung to dry, developing to full density Prussian blue after 24 hours.

Once dried the individual elements are hand cut and collaged together to create a multi-layered paper cut artwork.


Handmade recycled cotton rag paper: All the paper I make from recycled cotton rags- they are ripped, blended and pulped then set in molds before drying.
320gsm / 100% Cotton Rag / Recycled / Acid Free / Medium Rough


We use float mounting for all of our framed cyanotypes. The artwork floats above a snow-white, Larson- Juhl 1400 microns (8001 white core mount board), to showcase the paper texture and deckled edging.


Framed artwork will arrive ready to hang with hardware.

All frames come with gallery spec, 2-3mm thick clarity, Artglass AR70 / 3mm anti-reflective/ 79% UV protected glazing as standard.

This protects the cyanotype from fading and I prefer using clarity glass to showcase all details of the artworks surface and handmade paper elements.

Regular price $995.00
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