Download Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun: The Odyssey of an Artist in an Age by Gita May PDF

By Gita May

The optimum girl artist of her age, Elisabeth Vig?e Le Brun (1755—1842) exerted her huge attraction to turn into the buddy, after which reputable portraitist, of Marie Antoinette. notwithstanding ecocnomic, this function made Vig?e Le Brun a public and arguable determine, and in 1789 it caused her exile. In a Europe torn via strife and revolution, she however controlled to thrive as an self sustaining, self-supporting artist, doggedly constructing studios in Rome, Naples, Venice, Milan, Vienna, St. Petersburg, and London. lengthy missed or brushed off, Vig?e Le Brun’s snap shots now hold within the Louvre, in a room in their personal, in addition to in all top artwork museums of the world.

This gripping biography tells the tale of a singularly proficient and high-spirited lady throughout the progressive period and explores the advance and importance of her paintings. The booklet additionally recounts the private and non-private lives of Elisabeth Vig?e Le Brun, connecting  her with such personalities of her age as Catherine the nice, Napoleon, and Benjamin Franklin, and surroundings her stories within the context of latest eu politics and tradition. A beneficiant choice of illustrations, together with 16 of Vig?e Le Brun’s snap shots awarded in complete colour, completes this unprecedented volume.

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Extra info for Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun: The Odyssey of an Artist in an Age of Revolution

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Finally, while Lunden keeps her arms and hands demurely and idly crossed above her waist, Vigée Le Brun extends her right hand in an open, welcoming gesture, while her left hand firmly grips a palette and brushes, a proud and self-confident proclamation of herself as both subject and artist. In her memoir Vigée Le Brun notes with undisguised satisfaction that her Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat was largely instrumental in her election to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1783. She emphasizes the fact that the initiative did not come from her but rather from one of her mentors, the painter Joseph Vernet (I, 76).

He struck her as a man of small stature and cold demeanor, but one with exquisite manners: “He stayed a long time in my atelier and told me a thousand flattering things” (I, 52). Vigée Le Brun could not resist mentioning in Souvenirs this connection with one of the leading Enlightenment philosophes, and even quoting in full his letter to her (I, 51 – 52). It is noteworthy that, as portraitist of Marie-Antoinette, émigrée, and staunch monarchist she could never quite bring herself to 26 MARRIAGE renege on her early personal and artistic ties with some of the leaders of the Enlightenment movement.

Thanks to his wife’s increasing earnings, however, he was able to enlarge his collection and keep his business going. The house that the Le Bruns occupied on the rue de Cléry o¤ered an impressive display of luxury and art that had little connection with the financial realities of the couple. If Elisabeth’s marriage turned out to be a personal failure, it nevertheless helped to further her career as an artist, for it opened doors that otherwise would most probably have remained shut had she chosen to remain a single woman artist.

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