Women Artists & The French Revolution


– Marie-Guillemine Benoist 1768–1826

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Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) Self-Portrait, 1790

Today’s earlier posting of the Morning Mother on this blog was painted by Marie-Guillemine Benoist, the daughter of a government official in France. She initially studied with woman artist Vigee-Lebrun, & her earlier works show a distinct influence of her tutor. Benoist later studied with Jacques-Louis David, so that her later images are more Neo-Classical in style. During her lifetime, Benoist produced paintings ranging from inspirational historic themes to touching family portraits. Her works also included subjects sympathetic to contemporary issues, such as her portrait of the African woman painted in 1800, which was inspired by the French decree to abolish slavery. Benoist was commissioned by Napolean to paint his portrait as well as portraits of his family members.
Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) Il sonno
Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) Portrait d’une femme noire 1800
Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borgehese
Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) du château de Fontainebleau
Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) Elisa Bonaparte, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, c 1805
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& The French Revolution – Self Portraits by Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Lebrun 1755-1842

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Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Self-Portrait 1781

Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Self Portrait 1790
Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Lebrun (1755-1842) was born in Paris in 1755. She enjoyed the patronage of Queen Marie-Antoinette as well as that of other European nobility. She painted many portraits of the ill-fated Marie-Anoinette including one of the queen & her children which was commissioned as a desperate effort to salvage the queen’s bad reputation. Vigee-Lebrun left France just before the revolution but returned later to continue her career. Despite her earlier royalist associations, she was able to garner continued acceptance as an artist by the post-revolutionary regime & was elected to the Academie Royale.
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Self Portrait 1789

Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Self Portrait
Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Self Portrait 1800
Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Self Portrait 1800.

Women Artists & The French Revolution – Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Lebrun 1755-1842

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Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Princess Louise Radziwill Hohenzollern 1801
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Princess Eudocia Ivanovna Galitzine as Flora 1799
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Portrait of a Lady
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Mme Rousseau et sa fille
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Madame Molé-Raymond de la Comédie Italienne
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Madame du Barry
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Louise Marie Adeaide de Bourbon-Penthiève, duchesse d’Orléans
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Lady Folding a Letter 1784
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Josephine Grassini in the role of Zaire
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Isabella Teotochi Marini 1792
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland later Marchioness Wellesley 1791
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Comtesse de la Châtre
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Comtesse Catherine Vassillievna Skavronskaia, dame d’honneur de l’Impératrice Catherine I
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Baroness Crussol 1785
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Antoinette-Elisabeth Marie d’Aguesseau, comtesse de Ségur

Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Lady Hamilton (1761–1815), as a Bacchante

Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Mademoiselle Brongniart

Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Countess Golovine (1766–1821)

Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Young Woman
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Women Artists & The French Revolution – Geneviève Bouliard 1763-1825

.Marie-Geneviève Bouliard (French artist, 1763-1825)

Marie-Genevieve Bouilard was a Parisian portrait painter whose career lasted over 30 years. She was the daughter of a dressmaker, & she never married. She learned from Siffred Joseph Duplessis. Her portraits were extrememly popular during the French Revolution. She won special recognition at the Salon of 1794, where non academics were allowed to exhibit at the Louvre. Her historical allegory of Aspasia was an important symbol for women seeking self-determination; as Aspasia, the wife of Pericles, taught the art of oratory & policy to women as well as men. Bouilard chose to portray herself as Aspasia, as a mirror reflection of a woman who was a respected philosopher in an era, when women were almost unilaterally illiterate & denied even basic civil rights.
Marie-Geneviève Bouliard (French artist, 1763-1825) Self Portrait as Aspasia 1794
Marie-Geneviève Bouliard (French artist, 1763-1825) Self Portrait
Marie-Geneviève Bouliard (French artist, 1763-1825) Portrait de M. Olive et de sa famille 1791-92
Marie-Geneviève Bouliard (French artist, 1763-1825) Portrait of Artist Adélaïde Binart (1771-1832) wife of Alexandre Lenoir 1797
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Women Artists & The French Revolution – Self Portraits by Marie-Gabrielle Capet 1761-1818

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Marie-Gabrielle Capet (French artist, 1761-1818) Self Portrait 1783
The daughter of a servant Marie-Gabrielle Capet, who became a celebrated French portrait painter in oils, watercolors, & miniatures, was born at Lyons in 1761. When she was 20, she went to Paris to learn painting from Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749-1803), with whom she lived. During her initial year in Paris in 1781, her 1st drawings & pastels were exhibited at the Salon de la Jeunesse. In 1783, she submitted her first oil painting to the salon. From 1785, Capet’s major works regularly were exhibited at the Salon of Youth. In 1791, she exhibited her 1st miniatures at the Salon. When her mentor, Labille-Guiard fell ill, Capet took care of her, until her teacher died in 1803. After the French Revolution, the public exhibitions of the Salons were opened to women; & Marie-Gabrielle Capet exhibited works several times.
Marie-Gabrielle Capet (French artist, 1761-1818) Portrait of Mme J L Germain
Marie-Gabrielle Capet (French artist, 1761-1818) Atelier of Madame Vincent (Adelaide Labille-Guiard) 1808
Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Portrait of Mme Marie Gabrielle Capet
Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Self Portrait with Two Students, Marie-Gabrielle Capet and Carreaux de Rosemond. 1785
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Women Artists & The French Revolution – Marguerite Gérard 1761-1837

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François Dumont (1751-1831) Portrait of Marguerite Gérard (French artist, 1761-1837) at age 32
Marguerite Gérard was a French painter & etcher. She was the daughter of Marie Gilette & perfumer Claude Gérard. After the death of her mother in 1775, she went to live with her sister Marie-Anne & her artist husband Jean-Honoré Fragonard in their apartment at the Louvre. She lived there for the next 30 years as his pupil. Before the Revolution her patrons were fellow painters like Hubert Robert, musicians like Grétry, & architects. She painted no royalty, no Marie-Antoinette, no aristocrats, but educated, wealthy bourgeois. Marguerite Gérard was no Court painter. She stayed safely away from political themes, & the French Revolution does not seem to have directly impacted Marguerite’s career. She produced intimate domestic genre scenes as well as portraits & was one of France’s first successful female artists.
Marguerite Gérard (French artist, 1761-1837)
Marguerite Gérard (French artist, 1761-1837) Dors, mon enfant (Sleep my child) c 1783
Marguerite Gérard (French artist, 1761-1837) La bonne nouvelle
Marguerite Gérard (French artist, 1761-1837) La mauvaise nouvelle
Marguerite Gérard (French artist, 1761-1837) Le petit messager
Marguerite Gérard (French artist, 1761-1837) Mme de Staël et sa fille c 1805)
Marguerite Gérard (French artist, 1761-1837) Peintre faisant le portrait d’une joueuse de luth (Painter when painting a portrait of a lute player)
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Women Artists & The French Revolution – Victoire Lemoine 1754-1802

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Victoire Lemoine was a French painter. Born in Paris, where she also died, she was a student of François-Guillaume Ménageot, and took part in numerous Salons. She also may have been a student of Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, for her painting Atelier of a Painter is probably a portrait of Vigee-Lebrun. Lemoine was a portraitist & miniaturist who was part of a generation of women who were able to enjoyed considerable success as professional artists both before and after the French revolution. Her sisters Marie-Denise Villers & Marie-Élisabeth Gabiou also became painters.
Victoire Lemoine (French artist, 1754-1802) Atelier of a Painter, Probably Madame Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842), and Her Pupil
Victoire Lemoine (French artist, 1754-1802) Portraits d’une soeur et d’un jeune frère
Victoire Lemoine (French artist, 1754-1802) Self Portrait of a Woman and Cupid

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