The Marquise de Pezay and Sons – Vigée-Le Brun


Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. The Marquise de Pezay, and the Marquise de Rougé with Her Sons Alexis and Adrien (1787)

This painting by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun and another I’ve included in my gallery of Inspiration, by Artemesia Gentileschi, are here for two simple reasons: one, I just love the actual paintings themselves. But two, and perhaps even more important, I’m inspired by the artists.

I have two paintings in my gallery by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun. She was an 18th century artist who painted in the Rococo style. She was so talented that by the time she was in her teens she was already painting professionally. While still in her 20s she became the official portraitist of Marie Antoinette and ended up painting over 30 portraits of the queen and her family. She actually caused a bit of a scandal at one point when she exhibited a self-portrait that showed herself smiling and allowed the viewer to see her teeth! I kid you not, this caused a scandal. In any case, her paintings are wonderful and any woman who can not only survive but thrive in a man’s world is a true inspiration to me.

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