Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France Exhibition

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

In her seminal essay, art historian Linda Nochlin has famously wondered, why have there been no great women artists. The new Metropolitan Museum exhibit of France’s last great royal portraitist Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France, answers that query.

One of the greatest women artists of all time, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, is an 18th century French painter known for her powder blue and pale rosé palette of Marie Antoinette portraits. This first ever Vigée Le Brun retrospective at the MET spans her works the reign of French Kings Louis XV to Louis-Phillipe. The collection features 80 works from European and American public and private collections, including her many self-portraits and pastels.

Vigée Le Brun was a pioneer in many ways: an autodidact, one of only four women admitted to the Royal Academy of Painting at the age of 28 through the intervention of Marie Antoinette, and an internationally acclaimed portraitist of the royal families of Naples, Russia, and Prussia during the turbulent era in European history. These are just some of many of the sympathetic artist’s accolades. The exhibit opens February 15 so gather your girlfriends and celebrate Valentine’s Day this year by paying tribute to one of art world’s most inspiring women while getting lost in her confectionary canvases.



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by Ben DiamondPhotographed by Drew Gurian / Red Bull Content Pool