elegance of history blog: History geek, avid reader and art lover. Here you will find random bits of history, book reviews and musings on art, literature, manners, life, music and anything else that interests me.
Born Anne-Rosalie Bouquet in Paris in 1753, she was the daughter of Blaise Bouquet, the owner of a bric-a-brac shop and an ornamental painter. Rosalie inherited a talent for art, which she showed at a very early age. Her favourite medium was pastels, because of their fresh and delicate colours. In the 1770s, when she
Being a renowned portrait painter can give you lots of satisfactions: you’re involved with your sitter but also spend quite a lot of time working in peace and solitude and can get paid quite a lot of money too. But sometimes, you’ll have to deal with a client who keeps changing his/her mind, doesn’t respect
In her memoirs, famous painter Vigée Le Brun recalls how her portrait of the Princess of Lichtenstein, which she painted in 1793 while in Austria, scandalized her family: As soon as spring came I took a little house in a village near Vienna and went to settle there. This village, called Huitzing, was adjacent to
In her memoir, famous painter Madame Vigée Le Brun shares her recollections of the Duke of Berry, younger son of King Charles X of France, and his wife, Caroline of Naples and Sicily: As for the Duke de Berri, if he had not quite the same courtesy as his father, he was as clever, especially
In 1795, famous portraitist Elizabeth Vigée LeBrun travelled to St. Petersburg, where she was introduced to the Empress Catherine The Great. Here’s how the painter recalls their meeting in her memoirs: I was far from recovered from all my fatigue – since the term of my residence in St. Petersburg had been only twenty-four hours
A while ago, I posted Madame Vigée Le Brun’s thoughts about her first meeting with the Russian Empress Catherine The Great. The portraitist spent a lot of time in Russia and had the chance to meet the Empress several more times and form her own opinion about this autocrat. Here’s what she wrote in her
Famous French portraitist Madame Vigée LeBrun spent six years in Russia, a country she seemed to have genuinely loved. During her stay she got to meet the Empress Catherine II several times. I have already posted about their first meeting and her recollections and thoughts about this autocrat. In this last instalment, Madame Vigée LeBrun
Madame Du Barry was the last mistress of King Louis XV. After the King’s death, she retired to the Château de Louveciennes and it is here that, a few years before the start of the French Revolution, Madame Vigée LeBrun, one of the most famous and successful portraitists of her time, painted the former courtesan.
Lady Emma Hamilton, born Amy Lyons, lead a very interesting life. She was a maid, an artist’s model, a courtesan, but is best remembered as the mistress and love of Lord Nelson. French artist Madame Vigée Lebrun met and painted her when she visited Italy. Here’s what she says about Lady Hamilton in her memoirs:
Madame Vigéè Le Brun was one of the most famous and sough-after portraitists of her time. She was also a favourite of Marie Antoinette and, over the years, Madame Vigéè Le Brun, would paint numerous portraits of this tragic Queen. Her paintings have become so iconic that, when we think of Marie Antoinette today, we