I love learning about artists!...You may have missed this artist in art history class!
A painting by Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Kansas City, MO
Recently, I had a fun trip to the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It was a great way to spend a winter's afternoon! For encouragement and inspiration I visited this beautiful painting by Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun! LeBrun was a Royal Portrait Painter, traveling Europe, and painting nobility. She was at the TOP of her profession; certainly no starving artist!
LeBrun was friends with, and painted many portraits for Marie Antoinette at the Palace of Versailles in France. She was the most famous woman artist in Europe, painting more than 600 paintings in her career. Le Brun exemplifed success and resourcefulness in an age when women were rarely allowed either.
Portrait of Marie Gabrielle de Sinety, Comtesse de Gramont Caderousse (1761-1832)
Artist, Vigée Le Brun persuaded (the sitter) Marie to forgo powdering her hair for this painting, wishing to show her ebony black locks. This was a radical departure from the powdered hair usually worn by women of court and the privileged classes.
To see Marie Donato's Portrait Art - click below.
Learning about women artists has always been an inspiration for me. A few years ago, I was fortunate to see an exquisite exhibit, at the St. Louis Art Museum, of Artemisia Gentileschi's extraordinary paintings along side those of her father's paintings. It was an astounding and impressive exhibit.
During her lifetime, Artemisia was able to succeed in a male-dominated world, receiving commissions and patronage from Kings and Dukes of the time. Today, Artemisia Gentileschi remains an inspiration, not only for her powerful artwork, but for her ability to overcome the limits and prejudices of her time.
July 8, 1593, Artemisia Gentileschi was born in Rome Italy. She was an Italian Baroque painter, today considered one of the most famous and skilled painters of her time.
Artemisia was centuries ahead of her time. She was among the first women artists to achieve success in the 17th century. She brought to her work a unique perspective that both celebrated and humanized strong women characters. Above is Artemisia's self portrait.