Almost Wordless Wednesday

How many female painters do you know from the 1700’s.  Probably non. 

Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun (16 April 1755 - 30 March 1842) was a French Neoclassical painter and is recognised as the most famous woman painter of the eighteenth century. 

Vigee-LeBrun was mostly a self taught artist, but she received some artistic training from her father prior to his death and she was given advice by Greuze and Venet. Vigée-Le Brun painted portraits of many of the nobility of the day and as her career blossomed, she was invited to the Palace of Versailles to paint Marie Antoinette.  So pleased was the queen that during a period of six years, Vigée-Le Brun would paint more than thirty portraits of the queen and her family, leading to her being commonly viewed as the official portraitist of Marie Antoinette. Whilst of benefit during the reign of the Bourbon royals, this label was to prove problematic later.

Vigée-Le Brun left a legacy of 660 portraits and 200 landscapes. So why do so few know about her.  Her work is beautiful and I have one of her paintings (no, not an original!) hanging in my dinning  room (painting below) - my print is very old and in an equally old frame, it lacks some of the colour that the copy below has, it would be interesting to see the original one day.  Ever since a little girl I have loved this painting when it use to hang in my parents bedroom.


  1. What fun to see those paintings and learn a bit about the artist. You're right, I could think of none. And this artist is new to me, although I think I have seen her work before. It's really lovely!

  2. Very interesting information on the artist. I like that style actually, though I am no art buff. I really love that top pic. I imagine if it had been a part of your childhood it would be doubly precious. Love the mother and dauhgter feel.

  3. wow, such detail in those paintings! I suppose they are oil paintings? Thanks for sharing about the artist too - honestly, I haven't done a lot of study into the lives of artists, even though I enjoy looking at artwork very much! :P

  4. In year 12 I studied the History of Art and had the most wonderful teacher who made it come alive. Since then I am fascinated by lives of artists, not just their works.

    What makes this artist remarkable, is that she is a woman in a mans world.

  5. Oh my gosh - Jo - those pictures are so lovely. I am not a student of art - (know very little about art subjects) but I do admire the beautfy of art and these are amazing!

    Last night I watched a movie that you had reccomended earlier - The YOung Victoria - loved it. I love your recommendations~~~


  6. Thanks for the great info! 660 portraits?! That really is amazing.

    Have a great day...:)

  7. Not an artist I know & not a period I am normally fond of but these are truly lovely. Great use of light, particularly with the faces. Love the attention to detail in the costumes. I am so glad you shared these.

  8. Thanks to learning Charlotte Mason's philosophy of educating children which I try to follow with my dd, I am now gaining more of an appreciation for art work and artists!
    I have not heard of her before either like your other commenters and indeed the pics are beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. joyfulmum: I love art and have shared that love with my sons who now appreciate it. Art, like music, is so important to grow an appreciation for.

    I like to discover artists that aren't well known as I think they should be rediscovered and not forgotten. This lady was quite remarkable and should not be forgotten. Why do we remember Van Gogh.

    Glad you all enjoy these pieces of art. I love them.


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