|Louise-Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun "Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat" 1782|
National Gallery, London, England
I cannot really say anything that will add much to the the towering presence that is Louise-Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. She was one of the foremost artists of her day, and is considered one of the foremost women artists of all time. In her lifetime which spanned from 1755-1842 she completed over 600 works of art. She painted masterfully in all genres but was most noted for her portraits.
|Louise-Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun "Self-Portrait" 1790|
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy
Like most artists, Vigée-Lebrun also taught the craft of painting, and was a popular instructor. This painting is a tribute to Vigée-Lebrun by one of her former pupils, Marie-Victoire Lemoine (1754–1820.) It is thought to depict Vigée-Lebrun as instructress and Lemoine as pupil. if so, the difference in size of the two artists possibly is intended to convey Lemoine's humble perception of their relative artistic statures rather than any actual height difference. In 1796 Vigée-Lebrun had fled France and was living in St. Petersburg, this change necessitated by the French Revolution and her known royalist sympathies. Lemoine loyally attempted to keep alive in France the memory of her former teacher with this touching, if slightly veiled, homage.
|Marie-Victoire Lemoine "The Interior of an Atelier of a Woman Painter"|
1796 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC