There are few names more famous than that of ill-fated French queen Marie Antoinette. Her legacy is so powerful that she occupies a surprisingly large, thoroughly wacky swath of the stock photography universe.
It’s not a new observation that stock photos are often bewildering, with results resembling what you’d expect from aliens disguised as human teenagers trying to complete a homework assignment with only what they could decipher on Wikipedia. But somehow the offerings are especially funny when we’re dealing with history. For instance, Marie Antoinette.
This “Indoors shot in the Marie Antoinette style,” one of many in a series, is perhaps the most lifelike of the lot.
This “Indoors shot in the Marie Antoinette style,” featuring “Woman drinking tea with sweets,” is cartoonish.
But just in case the cake reference was insufficiently obvious, here is “Studio shot in the Marie Antoinette style.”
This one is simply, boldly titled “Marie Antoinette.” Maybe by way of Jane Seymour’s Guide to Romantic Living.
And here’s a “beautiful woman with elaborate Marie Antoinette dress on a Balcony.”
Or, for a slightly different look, try this “beautiful woman with elaborate Marie Antoinette dress Lacey Dress,” instead.
Then we get into the generic historical shots that are simply tagged with the doomed queen’s name, so they surface in search results. For instance, this “old fashioned sexy woman in lingerie lying on bed.”
As well as this “cropped portrait of a beautiful woman with elaborate Jewelry and a Lacey Dress.”
And let’s not forget these “three gorgeous dames in historical dresses gossiping.” Why even bother with a book like Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution?
And so, what have we learned about Marie Antoinette? Well, she’s essentially the living embodiment of the vision board for an unfortunate wedding venue, unlike in real life, when she was essentially the living embodiment of the vision board for an unfortunate wedding venue. Oh, and she was hot.