Art Travels

An Interlude With Vigée Le Brun

I will return to my discussion of the Kimbell’s special exhibit of artwork from the Museums of Scotland, but let’s pause for one of my favorite artists from the early 1800’s, Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun. She is none other than the portrait artist of Marie-Antionette. Gita May has written a very interesting biography of Vigée Le Brun’s successful portrait career describing how she navigated the male dominated genre and survived the French Revolution’s guillotine (unlike her esteemed patroness). The book is titled Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, The Odyssey of an Artist in an Age of Revolution. I was so happy to have spent the extra time to walk though the Kimbell Art Museum’s permanent collection the day I visited their special exhibit. I walked around the corner and their she was, the self-portrait of Vigée Le Brun that is featured on the cover of May’s biography of the artist. I had seen Vigée Le Brun’s work when I visited Versailles and the Louvre several years ago, but I didn’t know that one of her works was practically in my own backyard… five hours away in Texas is still your backyard! I do have to admit that May’s book does accurately state that this piece is at the Kimbell. I guess I was looking at the pictures and not reading the subtitles… guilty! Time for a selfie.


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