Jordan, a reader of this blog, noted about the portraits of Madame de Montespan (see my blog below):
“The only three Montespan portraits, in my own opinion, that do justice to her famously “haughty” appearance can be seen by following links. As Sandra mentioned in her original post, it’s interesting to note how well-fed Athenais seems in some of them.”
Here are the images:
This first one is by an unknown artist. Her eyes, as mentioned before, are unusual, slightly protruding?and yes, as Jordan points out, there is something haughty about her. The second one, a miniature by Jean Petitot, is clearly the image of a “robust” voluptuous woman with a slightly aloof expression. (The site suggests that it might also be the image of Queen Marie-Thérèse, but that I seriously doubt.)
The third one, also a Petitot image, is especially interesting to me:
(Note: this is an iStock photo which I paid for the right to use.) Given Montespan’s slightly protruding eyes (a symptom of Grave’s disease), her emotional unsteadiness as well as her weight problem later in life, I can’t help but wonder if she had a thyroid problem. Are there any doctors among us? Thank you, Jordan, for bringing these images to our attention.