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  Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun
 
 

Self Portrait ­ age 26
 
 
Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, in full Marie-Louise-Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Lebrun also spelled LeBrun or Le Brun (born April 16, 1755, Paris, France—died March 30, 1842, Paris), French painter, one of the most successful women artists (unusually so for her time), particularly noted for her portraits of women.

Her father and first teacher, Louis Vigée, was a noted portraitist who worked chiefly in pastels. In 1776 she married an art dealer, J.-B.-P. Lebrun. Her great opportunity came in 1779 when she was summoned to Versailles to paint a portrait of Queen Marie-Antoinette. The two women became friends, and in subsequent years Vigée-Lebrun painted more than 20 portraits of Marie-Antoinette in a great variety of poses and costumes. She also painted a great number of self-portraits, in the style of various artists whose work she admired. (The self-portrait that illustrates this article was painted in the style of Peter Paul Rubens and was inspired by his portrait of his sister-in-law, Suzanne Lunden.) In 1783, because of her friendship with the queen, Vigée-Lebrun was grudgingly accepted into the Royal Academy.

On the outbreak of the Revolution in 1789, she left France and for 12 years lived abroad, traveling to Rome, Naples, Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, and Moscow, painting portraits and playing a leading role in society. In 1801 she returned to Paris but, disliking Parisian social life under Napoleon, soon left for London, where she painted portraits of the court and of Lord Byron. Later she went to Switzerland (and painted a portrait of Mme de Staël) and then again (c. 1810) to Paris, where she continued to paint until her death.

Vigée-Lebrun was a woman of much wit and charm, and her memoirs, Souvenirs de ma vie (1835–37; “Reminiscences of My Life”; Eng. trans. Memoirs of Madame Vigée Lebrun), provide a lively account of her life and times. She was one of the most technically fluent portraitists of her era, and her pictures are notable for freshness, charm, and sensitivity of presentation. During her career, according to her own account, she painted 900 pictures, including some 600 portraits and about 200 landscapes.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
 


Marie-Antoinette
 
 
 
 


Marie-Antoinette
 
 
 
 


Marie Antoinette and her children Marie Thérèse, Louis Charles (on her lap), and Louis Joseph
 
 
 
 


Marie-Antoinette
 
 
 
 
 


Portrait of Princess Anna Ivanonva Bariatinsky
1796
Oil on canvas, 136 x 102 cm
Private collection





The Duchess of Caderousse
Oil oncanvas, 105 x 76 cm
Private collection





The Daughter's Portrait
Oil on canvas
Galleria Nazionale, Parma





Portrait of Madame de Staël as Corinne on Cape Misenum
1809
Oil on canvas, 140 x 118 cm
Musйe d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva





Madame d'Aguesseau de Fresnes
1789
Oil on panel, 107 x 83 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington





The Genius of Alexander
Oil on canvas
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg





Hubert Robert, Artist
1788
Oil on wood, 105 x 84 cm
Musйe du Louvre, Paris





Marie Antoinette
after 1783
Oil on canvas, 93 x 73 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington





The Marquise de Pezay and the Marquise de Rougй with Her Sons Alexis and Adrien
1787
Oil on canvas, 123 x 156 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington





Portrait of Madame Grand
1783
Oil on canvas, 92 x 72 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York




Portrait of a Young Musician
1777
Oil on canvas, 92 x 73 cm
Private collection




Madame Perregaux
1789
Oil on panel, 100 x 79 cm
Wallace Collection, London





Portrait of Anna Pitt as Hebe
1792
Oil on canvas, 140 x 100cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg




Prince Heinrich Lubomirski as the Genius of Fame
1789
Oil on oak, 106 x 83 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin





Portrait of Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland
1791
Oil on canvas, 99 x 75 cm
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco





Self-Portrait with Her Daughter, Julie
1786
Oil on wood, 105 x 84 cm
Musйe du Louvre, Paris





Self-Portrait with Her Daughter, Julie
c. 1789
Oil on canvas, 130 x 94 cm
Musйe du Louvre, Paris





Self-Portrait
1800
Oil on canvas, 79 x 68 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg





Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat
after 1782
Oil on canvas, 98 x 70 cm
National Gallery, London





Self-Portrait
1790
Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence





Moritz von Fries
c. 1796
Pastel on grey paper, 54 x 44 cm
Musйe du Louvre, Paris





Woman's Head
1780
Charcoal and coloured chalk on blue paper, 479 x 405 mm
Йcole des Beaux-Arts, Paris




Portrait of a Young Woman
c. 1797
Oil on canvas, 82, x 71 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 
 
 

 
 
 
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