June 1, 2012
The first time I went to Italy I was 22 years old and purchased a print on the easel in my moodboard below which is a self portrait of the artist Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun and her daughter Jeanne Lucie Louise. I really didn’t know who the artist was but I loved the painting. The print was thumbtacked on the wall at all the places I lived. Over the years it started to get ruined so I rolled it up and put it away. In 2000 I was in Paris at the Louvre and saw the original painting on the wall and it made me cry. I finally learned about the painting and the artist. When I came home, I still had the print and took it to someone to have it properly matted and framed. Today it sits in my office next to my computer.
Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – the French portrait painter.
Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun was born in Paris in 1755. Her father was a portrait painter who taught her to paint. By the time she was in her early teens, she was painting portraits professionally.
At the age of twenty she married the painter/art dealer Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Le Brun.
She began painting portraits of the nobility and was eventually invited to the Palace of Versailles to paint Marie Antoinette wife of Louis XVI. Her work was so pleasing to the queen that she went on to paint thirty portraits of her and became her official portrait painter.
During her lifetime she painted 660 portraits and 200 landscapes including self portraits and portraits with her daughter Jeanne Lucie Louise.