Louise Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun

1740 WordsJan 31, 20187 Pages
In 1783, Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1745-1842) exhibited her work at the French Royal Academy Salon, her capacity for painting portraits was widely appreciated aside from one that shocked the French people, the Marie Antoinette “en gaulle”. In the Marie Antoinette “en gaulle”, the young woman’s hair is adorned with an extravagant wide plumed hat and her fingers are delicately constructed around a rose bouquet. Vigée-Lebrun’s portrait depicts Marie Antoinette in a loose muslin dress that the public assumed she wore to bed at night. Despite Vigée-Lebrun’s widely growing fame and fortune, the informal depiction of the Queen received an upheaval of opposition from critics at the Salon due to its subject matter and the fact that the Queen held the absolute decision in being portrayed this way. Marie Antoinette “en-gaulle” is a portrait that powerfully captures the Queen in her most natural and free style. However, the portrait was not in agreement with the 18th century perception of women’s modesty and the laws of the French monarchy. The Salon’s reaction to the portrait Marie Antoinette “en-gaulle” reflected poorly on the Queen’s judgment and composure, giving evidence to her rebellious regard for the etiquette of the French Court; therefore, Marie Antoinette held the desire to distinguish her personality from courtly duties and executed it in placing her trust in the talents of Vigée-Lebrun. The three-quarter length painted portrait features a young and attractive Marie

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