Saturday, March 12, 2016

Vigée Le Brun at The Met

I confess I had not heard of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun when I went to the first retrospective of her work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, here in New York City. Born in 1755 she had an exceptional career as a portraitist supported in part by the patronage of Marie Antoinette. Le Brun painted more than thirty portraits of the doomed French Queen. I rather enjoyed the exhibition and marveled at her special skill for painting fabric. It was as if I would have felt velvet beneath my fingers had I reached out and touched a painting! Although more paintings of women than men in the exhibition, I preferred her male sitters. The women more stylized and romantic, the men less so. Exhibition through May 15, 2016.

Joseph Vernet, 1778, Le Brun's mentor
Self Portrait with Cerise Ribbons, 1782
Charles Alexandre de Calonne, 1784, Controller General of Finances

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