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Marie d'Orleans (1813–1839)

Marie d'Orleans (1813–1839)

Duchess of Wurttemberg and artist . Name variations: Marie of Wurttemberg; Marie of Württemberg; Marie, Princess of Orléans; Marie of Orleans. Born in Palermo on April 12, 1813; died on January 2, 1839; daughter of Maria Amalia (1782–1866) and Louis Philippe I (1773–1850), king of France (r. 1830–1848); married Alexander (1804–1881), duke of Württemberg, on October 17, 1837.

Marie d'Orleans was born in 1813, the daughter of Maria Amalia and Louis Philippe I, duke of Orléans, who was proclaimed "citizen king" but overthrown in the Revolution of 1848. Marie was a talented painter and sculptor who is best known for her statue of Joan of Arc at Versailles. She depicted the maiden warrior as having, for the first time, killed a man with her battle-axe. Writes Clara Clement : "Full of spirit and animation, Joan is moved with contending and powerful emotions; she believes that God has strengthened her arm, and will help her to deliver France, and this imparts a noble pride to her features; at the same time, the young maiden trembles and gazes upon blood and death with consternation."

Marie d'Orleans also modeled a dying Bayard, which was never executed in large size. An angel in white marble which she sculpted adorns the sarcophagus of her brother Charles in the chapel of Sablonville. She also made some designs for glass painting. In a chapel at Fontainebleau, there is a glass painting of Saint Amalia , the patron of her mother, made from her design. Marie d'Orleans was as beautiful in her life as in her art, writes Clement. When she proceeded to Württemberg, she was received with enthusiasm. But joy turned to misfortune: the castle was burned, then her health failed. She journeyed to Pisa in hopes of restoration, but it was not to be. There, a few days before her death, she asked for more light in her apartment and spent an hour drawing.


Clement, Clara Erskine. Painters, Sculptors, Architects, Engravers, and Their Works. Hurd & Houghton, 1874.

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