Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun

2 May 2020

Élisabeth Louise Vigée was born in Paris on 16th April 1755, the daughter of a portraitist and a hairdresser, and after beginning her career in the 1770s quickly made her name thanks to her gorgeously fresh paintings of members of the aristocracy that perfectly captured the spirit of the era.

This delightful self portrait, which now lives in the National Gallery in London, was painted in 1782 at the height of her career when she was already well established as the favourite portraitist of Marie Antoinette. Vigée Le Brun was a great admirer of Rubens and modelled this work on his beautiful portrait of his sister-in-law Susannah.