Louise Élisabeth VIGÉE LE BRUN (Paris 1755... - Lot 64 - Kâ-Mondo

Lot 64
Go to lot
Estimation :
40000 - 60000 EUR
Louise Élisabeth VIGÉE LE BRUN (Paris 1755... - Lot 64 - Kâ-Mondo
Louise Élisabeth VIGÉE LE BRUN (Paris 1755 - 1842). Portrait of a woman in bust. Oval canvas on its original frame (probably a transposition). 65.5 × 54.5 cm. Signed and dated lower right: "Mde Le Brun f / 1777" (signature and date incised in the material). (Misses). Provenance: anonymous sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot (Maître Baudouin), May 29, 1914, n° 12, reproduced ("Portrait de femme", sold 12.500 frs). Louise-Elisabeth Lebrun painted this portrait in the early years of the reign of Louis XVI. She had made a name for herself by then and her diary mentions no less than seventy-four portraits delivered in 1776. Her first and only real master was her father, the portrait painter Louis Vigée. When he died in 1768, it was Gabriel Doyen, a renowned painter and great friend of his, who encouraged Louise-Elisabeth to take up the brush again. Just fourteen years old, she was already painting portraits in oil and pastel. Her father having left her no money, she supported herself and her mother with her art. Together they went to see the paintings of Rubens and "many rooms filled with paintings of the greatest masters" in Luxembourg as well as the galleries of great Parisian collectors. I copied," she reports in the second letter of her Memoirs, "several heads of young girls by Greuze, because they explained to me strongly the half-tones that are found in the delicate complexions; Wandik also explains them, but more finely. I owe to this work the so important study of the degradation of the lights on the salient parts of a head, degradation that I admired so much in the heads of Raphael. My dispositions for painting were remarkable, and my progress was so fast, that one began to speak about me in the world, which earned me the satisfaction of knowing Joseph Vernet. Vernet advised him: "Above all, do as much as you can from nature: nature is the first of all masters". The flower slipped into the bodice of this elegant woman perfectly illustrates the Memories of Madame Vigée-Lebrun walking in the alleys of the Palais-Royal, in the summer days, after the Opera, when "It was fashionable for women to carry very large bouquets, which, together with the fragrant powders with which each one perfumed his hair, really scented the air that one breathed (Letter II of the Memoirs). The painting we are presenting is signed "M[a]d[am]e Le Brun". In 1776, the year of her marriage, Élisabeth Vigée signed her maiden name followed by her married name. While she may have abandoned her maiden name in the decade that followed, she later reintroduced it in her signature. It was in 1778, shortly after painting this portrait, that she first painted Queen Marie Antoinette in full court costume (canvas, 273 × 193 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna). A certificate of inclusion in the catalog raisonné of paintings, pastels, and drawings by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun by Joseph Baillio, dated June 2022, will be given to the buyer.
My orders
Sale information
Sales conditions
Return to catalogue