|Vigée Le Brun, Self-Portrait, 1790|
(Gallerie degli Uffizi)
|Self_Portrait in Traveling Costume, 1789-90|
|Vigee-LeBrunn, Peace Bringing Back Abundance, 1780, exhibited at Salon of 1783|
(Musee du Louvre)
|Etienne Vigée, 1773, painted at 18 prior to joining the Academie de Saint-Luc|
(Saint Louis Art Museum)
|Allegory of Poetry, 1774|
(Henry and Catherine Robet)
Although Vigee-LeBrun aspired to be a history painter, the most prestigious of the genres, she could only be accepted as genre painter, two steps lower than male academicians. Since women could not work from live models and were not educated in anatomy, they could not become history painters which would preclude them from having all the privileges the male artists gained like studio space and an allowance. Although it was impossible for her to be a history painter, Vigee-LeBrun still produced a work of art that could actually very well have been accepted as such.
|Study for Abundance, 1780|
Vigee-LeBrun showed incredible artistry in this piece but she was admitted into the Academie with reluctance plus pressure from the crown, because of her husband's profession of being an art dealer. It seems the Academie did all they can to try to dissuade female artists from joining their ranks but one or two exceptional artists still managed to get by.
- This is an edited version, with additional content, of a prior post that was written in October 2011.