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Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun: The Odyssey of an Artist in an Age of Revolution
Gita May
0300108729
October 2005
Hardcover
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From The New Yorker
Vigee Le Brun became a famous portraitist while still in her twenties, and was a favorite of Marie-Antoinette. May’s biography seeks to rescue her from critics who have dismissed her as an operator and a superficial talent. Born in 1755, Vigee Le Brun lived until the eighteen-forties and produced two volumes of memoirs, which form the backbone of this account. Occasionally, one feels the lack of broader perspectives, and May, a literature professor, fails to give a detailed sense of either the historical context or the aesthetic content of her subject’s works. Still, she effectively conveys that, for Vigee Le Brun, matters such as politics, friendship, and love were subordinate to an absolute focus on honing her skill. Even post-Revolution exile was turned to advantage; she traversed Europe looking...


The Exceptional Woman
Mary D. Sheriff
0226752828
Oct 1997
Paperback
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Book Description
Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1755-1842) was an enormously successful painter, a favorite portraitist of Marie-Antoinette, and one of the few women accepted into the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. In accounts of her role as an artist, she was simultaneously flattered as a charming woman and vilified as monstrously unfeminine.

In The Exceptional Woman, Mary D. Sheriff uses Vigée-Lebrun's career to explore the contradictory position of "woman-artist" in the moral, philosophical, professional, and medical debates about women in eighteenth-century France. Paying particular attention to painted and textual self-portraits, Sheriff shows how Vigée-Lebrun's images and memoirs undermined the assumptions about "woman" and the strictures imposed on women.

Engaging...


Women Artists: The National Museum of Women in the Arts
Susan Fisher Sterling
0789204118
June 1997
Hardcover
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