Who wore it better? | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Who wore it better?

May 11, 2011

Who wore it better?

Where did Marie Antoinette get her innovative fashion sense and style from? Could a little have been from her mother, Empress Maria Theresa?  The Empress was also known to enjoy a good party every now and then. She adored dancing when she was younger, and her particular type of party was the masquerade! Here she is, decked out from head to toe in a Turkish costume, with mask, dressed for such a party.

But who wore it better? Below we have two exquisite portraits of two popular ladies, both in Turkish Costume (all the rage!) reminiscent of the Ottoman Empire.  So what do you think? 
Marie Theresa or Madame de Pompadour?

Martin van Meytens, Maria Theresa with a Mask in a Turkish Dress. 1744. Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H.

Charles André van Loo, Sultan's Wife Drinking Coffee. 1755, oil on canvas. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.


  1. I love the majesty of the top portrait, but I love the simplicity of the dress of the bottom (simplicity, what simplicity? this is my brain at 12:40 AM, forgive me). HOWEVER, I think I'm going to go with.....the top one. Even though it's a Turkish dress, I still love all the Austrian "regalness" of it all.

  2. i like the whole scene around m.pompadour more, it is more intimate. but the first one is better for a "a turkish costum"

  3. I love them both!!! I think Maria Theresa is much more regal, but Mme de Pompadour has created a whole scene for herself that complements the outfit better! It's the difference between someone wearing a saree against a white wall and someone wearing it in the middle of a Bollywood dance scene!

  4. @Katie lol! There is no denying that even when she was young, MT knew how to flaunt her 'regalness'!

    @Maren & @nightjohn88 I agree, I think MT's portrait is impressive and the costume fascinating, but you can definitely tell Madame d.P. was going for a more seductive look and fantastic look with her draped costume and romantic setting :)


  5. in terms of costume details i suppose MT would take the prize but i really prefer Mme de Pompadour. MT is just sort of there...in costume. Mme is in a really lovely scene, she looks at home in her clothing, it makes me want to wear it.

  6. Madame de Pompadour. Beautiful.

  7. Marie-Antoinette was her mother's daughter in every way.

  8. Katherine LouiseMay 12, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    I agree that Maria Theresa looks very regal and upright; I prefer Madame de Pompadour, languid, elegant, playing the part.

  9. Pompadour, absolutely. The fur/ royal robe look does not work with the Turkish vibe, in my opinion.