Research Project: Montrer la reine

Marie-Claude Canova-Green

Charles Beaubrun, Anne d’Autriche enceinte de 8 mois du futur Louis XIV (1638)

Marie-Claude Canova-Green’s new project on the Queen’s body, Montrer la reine, focuses on the court experience of two Spanish Infantas that became Queens of France in the seventeenth century, Anne of Austria and Maria-Teresa of Austria. In particular, the project will investigate the physical impact on their bodies of the constant necessity of paraître and their transformation into visual commodities.

This study builds on and extends Marie-Claude’s previous research, which culminated in the monograph Faire le roi. L’autre corps de Louis XIII  (Fayard 2018, sponsored by the Centre de Recherche du Château de Versailles). Faire le roi investigates the ways in which Louis XIII, the Sun King’s father, created a new way of perceiving the body of the King as a royal body. It focuses on the different functions fulfilled by the various aspects of the public performance of the King to explore how his private, public and imaginary body interrelated in rituals, ceremonies, court entertainments or even daily life. Taking us beyond studies of royal symbolism or the mechanism of royal propaganda, of which there have been many examples in the past thirty years, and relying on the work of social anthropologists, social historians, philosophers and students of representation, the research draws on the insights of semiotics, performance and gender studies to provide a new account of royal self-presentation.

Marie-Claude’s article “‘DANCING QUEEN’. The Court Ballets of Anne of Austria, Queen of France (1615-1635)” will be published in a special issue of The Castle Chronicles. Annals (2021), to accompany the 2022 exhibition organised by the Royal Castle in Warsaw, devoted to the court theatre of Ladislas IV Vasa (Vladislaus IV, Wladyslaw IV, 1595-1648.


Other research projects at the CCL