The Ice Queen 1789

When the poorest of France’s Third Estate were forced to spend close to 97% of their wages on bread, politicians at Court (royal), looking for a scapegoat, circulated pornographic material aimed at solidifying Antoinette as the reason for France's problems. Depictions of the Queen with animal heads devouring everything in sight soon reached the public who were too hungry and uneducated to understand they were being played. Antoinette was viewed as a monster who indulged in every depravity known to man.

Political pornography was used as a weapon to destabilise political opponents by rallying crowds against them. Marie Antoinette while not the first woman to be slandered by pornography, hers was particularly cruel and obscene, the relentless onslaught would eventually stir up hungry women who marched (The Women's March on Versailles) with beheaded heads on spikes to Versailles and take Antoinette and her family hostage.


Figure 1. BAPTISTE, MANDISA. 2017. The Ice Queen [Digital].

© Price and Wages in Paris, 1789-93. 2017. [online]. Available at: [accessed 27 January 2017].


Pamphlets · Marie Antoinette in Popular Imagery and Imagination, 18th Century to Present · Let Them Eat Cake. 2017. [online]. Available at: [accessed January 27 2017].

#MarieAntoinette #MarieAntoinetteconceptualnarrative #MarieAntoinettepoliticalpornography #breadrevolution #highpricesforbread

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