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Vigée Le Brun in Paris, Rome, and Russia

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842) was a gifted, largely self-taught painter and pastelist. One of only fourteen women (by comparison with 550 men) who were admitted to the Paris Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, she eventually took sittings not only from Marie Antoinette, but also from the children of Catherine the Great of Russia, Queen Louise of Prussia, and Napoleon’s sister Caroline Murat, later Queen of Naples. When she was obliged to leave France at the onset of the Revolution, she entirely recreated her career abroad, in Rome. Both her technical excellence and her social skills contributed to the direct, life-like qualities of her portraits.

Hillwood’s Portrait of Marie Antionette and Children, on display outside Marjorie Merriweather Post’s bedroom suite, is modeled after Vigée Le Brun’s painting.

 

Timeline 

5:30-6:30 p.m.: Mansion, Deco Japan, and Four Seasons open for self-guided touring
6-6:30 p.m.: Wine and cheese reception
6:15 p.m.: Theater Doors Open
6:30-7:30 p.m.: Lecture

7:30 p.m.: Book Signing. ­­­­­Vigée Le Brun is available for purchase in the Museum Shop.

 

About the Speaker

Katharine Baetjer has spent her professional career as a curator in the department of European paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has worked on several exhibitions, including Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France, Canaletto and Watteau Music and Theater.  She wrote the catalogue of British old master paintings for the Metropolitan Museum and has published on subjects as diverse as Gustav Klimt and Jackson Pollock.

 

About the Frederick J. Fisher Lecture

This is the fifth annual lecture honoring the legacy of Hillwood’s former executive director, Frederick J. Fisher, who served for twenty years (1990-2010).

 

Lectures and Talks

Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 9:45am

Engage with people and ideas through programs that explore historic themes with contemporary thinkers. Encounter works of art up close in the intimate and personalized spaces of Hillwood’s Mansion and Gardens during gallery talks. 

Delve deeper into intriguing topics of art, fashion, design, and history with Hillwood’s curators, horticulturists, staff, distinguished experts, and international scholars, at study days, lectures and book talks.

Member Events

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 4:45pm

Membership at Hillwood offers more than free access to the estate and a Museum Shop discount. Members enjoy advanced reservations and discounts on programs and lectures, private receptions, and special member only events such as exhibition openings, tours, and field trips. Join the Hillwood community today!

  • Cover of Vigee Le Brun, by Katharine Baetjer

    Cover of Vigee Le Brun, by Katharine Baetjer

    Cover of Vigee Le Brun, by Katharine Baetjer
  • Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, Paris 1755–1842 Paris)

    Madame Grand

    1783

    Oil on canvas, oval, 36 ¼ x 28 ½ in. (92.1 x 72.4 cm)

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Edward S. Harkness, 1940

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Edward S. Harkness, 1940
  • Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, Paris 1755–1842 Paris)

    Alexandre Charles Emmanuel de Crussol-Florensac (1743–1815)

    1787

    Oil on wood, 35 3/8 x 25 1/2 in. (89.9 x 64.8 cm)

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Jules Bache Collection, 1949

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
  • Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, Paris 1755–1842 Paris)

    Comtesse de La Châtre

    1789

    Oil on canvas, 45 x 34 ½ in. (114.3 x 87.6 cm)

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Jessie Woolworth Donahue, 1954

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Jessie Woolworth Donahue, 1954