The Sentiments of the Nation
Les Sentiments de la Nation
Jean François Janinet, French, 1752 - 1814. After a watercolor by Jean-Baptiste Marie Huet, French, 1745 - 1811.
Jean-François Janinet's tender family portrait commemorates the eagerly anticipated birth of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI's first child, Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte (1778-1851). Here we see the queen holding the infant girl between an oval portrait of her mother, the Empress Maria Theresa, and a marble bust of her husband. At the left of this heart-shaped composition, a white spaniel and an anchor are symbols of fidelity and hope; at right, an altar symbolizes love. When reissued three years later in celebration of the birth of a male heir, Louis-Joseph-Xavier, the only alteration to the plate was the addition of the Dauphin's birth date, October 22, 1781, to the engraved text below.