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Art History Artist Booklet

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Louis Elisabeth Vigee- Le Brun


Jada Simpson


Art History Booklet


This booklet is on Elisabeth Louis Vigee-Lebrun. She is a neoclassical artist who was famous for her portraits. She was known as one of the most important women of her time. Throughout this booklet, I will be introducing and showing some of Vigee-Lebrun's art, and giving details about her life. There will be several self portraits, as well as portraits of loyalty and average people. We will be looking at her style, as well as certain elements she includes to make every painting unique. 

Self portrait

Portrait of Madame Grand


Summary of Vigee-Lebrun

Self Portrait in a Straw Hat

 Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun born April 16, 1755 in Paris, France. Vigee Le Brun was known as Madame Le Brun, a prominent French painter around the 1780’s. Her artistic style is considered what was left of Rococo, and is known for her neoclassical style. As a child, Louise began art early, she impressed her parents with her first drawing around the age of 7. As a young child, she began taking painting lessons from Gabriel Briard. Her father was one of her greatest influences, he himself was a popular painter. As a young teenager, Vigee Le Brun attracted clients who wanted self portraits painted by her. At age 19, she was accepted into the painters guild of the Academy of Saint-Luc, this helped to increase her professional exposure. In 1776, her mother forced her to marry their landlord, Jean-Baptiste Le-Brun. He was also an art dealer and an artist, he became Le Brun’s next great influence for her work. Towards the end of her life, she wrote an autobiography called “Souvenirs,” proving her talents in writing as well. In this autobiography, she included that her father's support through even her earliest paintings created the painter she was.  She passed on March 30, 1842. 

Neoclassical Style

Portrait of Princess Caroline of Liechtenstein.

Vigee Le Brun’s work is considered neoclassicism because of the elegancy and formal position of her portraits. Giving the woman and children grace and elegance shows her views on royalty in France at her time. One of her highest client's, Queen Marie Antoinette was depicted in over 30 portraits by Le Brun. She was Le Bruns biggest client and only trusted her for portraits. She is related to impressionism through her use of pastel colors. The New York Times said  “These rapidly executed pastels, from a private collection, have an atmospheric immediacy that seems almost to anticipate Impressionism.”

Paintings by Le Brun

Portrait of Elisabeth of France

Oil Painting on Canvas


Created in the Palace of Versailles during the Rococo period.


Woman's Head

Charcoal and colored chalk on paper


Created during Rococo period, self portrait of ordinary woman.


Paintings By Vigee- Le Brun


 Portrait of Queen Marie Antoinette

oil paint on canvas


This was an icon image of the Queen painted by Vigge-Le Brun.


Self Portrait in a Straw Hat


oil painting on canvas

This portrait display Vigee-Le Bruns elegancy and beauty


Marie Antoinette and Her Children


oil painting on canvas

As mentioned before, Vigee- Le Brun created over 30 paintings of Queen Marie Antionette, this paintings also features the Queens three children.


Paintings By Vigee- Le Brun

The Artists Brother


oil on canvas

This is an painting of Le Bruns eighteen year old brother.

My Favorite Painting

The painting Lady Hamilton as Ariadne is my favorite painting because of the detailing and the background. The image shows small details throughout her hair and even in the fur on the skin in the leopard. There were several different parts of the painting that caught my eye, including the highlighting and shading to bring out the good features of Lady Hamilton. She shows the elegant features including her long hair and by showing cleavage. She gives the details of the boat and sunset in the background. The leopard's skin and wine cup shows the riched of Lady Hamilton. I loved the small natural features of the painting over all. 

Lady Hamilton as Ariadne


oil on canvas

Favorite Paintings

In the period Vigee- Le Brun lived in, woman were supposed to be seen as no more that house wives, showing cleavage or being seen as beautiful rather than knowing your personality. Through this image, Vigee-Le Brun created this painting in the later years of her live, showing the beauty without the "sexy" image. She gives details in the hair, face, and body without giving the provocative image. In the image, she creates shading to bring out the brightness and liveliness of the young girl. The shading creates a better image of the young lady's features and gives more to her complection. 


Portrait of a Young Woman


Oil paint on canvas

Cites used