Émile Bellier de la Chavignerie continued by Louis Auvray. Dictionnaire général des artistes de l'école française depuis l'origine des arts du dessin jusqu'à nos jours: Architectes, peintres, sculpteurs, graveurs et lithographes. Vol. 1, Paris, 1882, p. 998.
André Linzeler. "L'exposition des femmes peintres du XVIIIe siècle." Beaux-arts 4 (June 1926), pp. 161–62, ill.
Charles Oulmont. Les femmes peintres du XVIIIe siècle. Paris, 1928, pl. 58.
Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 23, Leipzig, 1929, p. 34.
David Ojalvo. "Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans: Peintures des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles." Revue du Louvre et des musées de France 22 (1972), p. 333.
Old Mistresses: Women Artists of the Past. Exh. cat., Joaneath Spicer. Baltimore, 1972, no. 15, as painted before the Revolution.
M. Brawley Hill. Women: A Historical Survey of Works by Women Artists. Exh. cat., Salem Fine Arts Center. [Raleigh], 1972, pp. X–XI, ill.
Vivian P. Cameron. Letter to Mary Ann W. Harris. October 4, 1974, suggests that Lemoine painted this picture shortly after 1783; believes the history painting on the easel may reflect Vigée's desire to be known as a history painter.
Joseph Baillio. Letter to Mary Ann Wurth Harris. April 5, 1975, finds that the artist bears some resemblance to Vigée Le Brun, especially to her self-portrait "à l'antique" of 1789, but wonders if the identification may have been based on the costume, a type that Vigée made famous; finds no resemblance in the seated figure to Lemoine, who "appears to have been quite blond".
Jean Cailleux. Letter to Mary Ann Wuth Harris. March 3, 1975, believes this might be the picture exhibited in 1796 and accounts for the discrepancy in dimensions by observing that catalogues of the Revolutionary years were "badly done"; dates the costume 1790 at the earliest.
Stella Blum. Memorandum to Mimi Harris. May 27, 1975, dates the costumes to the 1790s.
Ann Sutherland Harris and Linda Nochlin in Women Artists: 1550–1950. Exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art. New York, 1976, pp. 188–89, no. 57, ill., as "Interior of the Atelier of a Woman Painter," after the title in the 1796 Salon; point out that at the time Lemoine was 42 and Vigée Le Brun 41, proving that if this picture is to be read as portraits of the women, they are idealized.
Mary D. Garrard. "Women Artists in Los Angeles." Burlington Magazine 119 (July 1977), p. 531.
Donna G. Bachmann and Sherry Piland. Women Artists: An Historical, Contemporary and Feminist Bibliography. Metuchen, N.J., 1978, p. 127.
Germaine Greer. The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work. New York, 1979, pp. 270–71, ill., notes that the figure of Vigée Le Brun resembles a sketch of the artist with Marie-Guilhelmine Leroulx de la Ville by David; regards it as a "propagandistic gesture" that may have played some role in the petition to return Vigée Le Brun to Paris after the Revolution.
Joseph Baillio. "Marie-Antoinette et ses enfants par Mme. Vigée Le Brun." L'Oeil 308 (March 1981), p. 75 n. 39.
Christine Havice. "In a Class by Herself: 19th Century Images of the Woman Artist as Student." Woman's Art Journal 2 (Spring/Summer 1981), p. 40 n. 8.
Joseph Baillio. Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, 1755–1842. Exh. cat., Kimbell Art Museum. Fort Worth, 1982, p. 14.
Edith Krull. Women in Art. London, 1986, p. 132, ill.
Jean-François Heim, Claire Béraud, and Philippe Heim. Les salons de peinture de la Révolution française, 1789–1799. Paris, 1989, p. 273.
Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun: Mémoires d'une portraitiste, 1755–1842. Paris, 1989, ill. p. 136 (color).
Margaret A. Oppenheimer. "Nisa Villers, née Lemoine (1774–1821)." Gazette des beaux-arts 127 (April 1996), p. 166.
Joseph Baillio. "Vie et oeuvre de Marie Victoire Lemoine (1754–1820)." Gazette des beaux-arts 127 (April 1996), pp. 125, 134–36, 154–55, 164, no. 30, ill. on cover (color detail) and figs. 13, 13a–c (overall and details), describes this picture as between portrait and genre painting; observes that the dress of the artist corresponds to Vigée Le Brun's attire before the Revolution, and that the student's clothing appears to date to the second half of the 1780s; suggests that if executed right before the Salon of 1796, the painting was meant to recall an earlier time.
Margaret A. Oppenheimer. "Women Artists in Paris, 1791–1814." PhD diss., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 1996, p. 224 n. 366, ill., refutes the notion that it should be regarded as a tribute to Vigée Le Brun and points out that there is no evidence Lemoine studied with her; finds that the features of the instructor in this picture resemble those of Lemoine in her Orléans "self-portrait".
Mary D. Sheriff in Dictionary of Women Artists. Ed. Delia Gaze. London, 1997, vol. 2, pp. 837–38, given the discrepancy in the ages of teacher and pupil, finds it unlikely that the pupil is a self-portrait of Lemoine; concedes, however, that the image could "hint at some direct, even formative, contact between the two women artists".
Frances Borzello. Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self-Portraits. New York, 1998, pp. 83–84, 86, ill. (color), regards this picture as a tribute to Vigée Le Brun; compares it to works by Louis-Léopold Boilly and Marguerite Gérard that depict women artists in their studios.
Renate Berger in Zwischen Ideal und Wirklichkeit: Künstlerinnen der Goethe-Zeit zwischen 1750 und 1850. Ed. Bärbel Kovalevski. Exh. cat., Schlossmuseum, Gotha. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 1999, pp. 17, 27–28, ill.
Liana De Girolami Cheney, Alicia Craig Faxon, and Kathleen Lucey Russo. Self-Portraits by Women Painters. Aldershot, England, 2000, pp. 126, 208, fig. VI.13.
Andrea Kirsh and Rustin S. Levenson. Seeing Through Paintings: Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies. New Haven, 2000, p. 74, fig. 76 (color).
Astrid Reuter. Marie-Guilhelmine Benoist: Gestaltungsräume einer Künstlerin um 1800. Berlin, 2002, pp. 93–94, ill.
Claire Barry in Eik Kahng and Marianne Roland Michel. Anne Vallayer-Coster: Painter to the Court of Marie-Antoinette. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. Dallas, 2002, p. 101, calls the picture on the easel an example of the eighteenth-century white-chalk technique.
Britta C. Dwyer. "Book reviews [review of Borzello 1998]." Woman's Art Journal 23 (Spring–Summer 2002), p. 43.
Gerrit Walczak. Letter to Katharine Baetjer. October 7, 2003, considers it a self-portrait of Lemoine, noting that he has not located a single contemporary critique that identifies the artist depicted.
Gerrit Walczak. Letter to Katharine Baetjer. August 3, 2004, believes it is time to drop "the romantic idea" that Vigée Le Brun is represented, as the portrait is closer to that of Lemoine's purported self-portrait in Orléans than it is to any extant self-portraits of Vigée; argues that a portrait of Vigée Le Brun would have caught the attention of art critics in 1796 and this picture did not.
Gerrit Walczak. Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun: Eine Künstlerin in der Emigration 1789–1802. Munich, 2004, pp. 42–43, ill., agrees with Baillio that, if the main figure is Vigée Le Brun, then this picture must be interpreted as an attempt to gain sympathy for her with the general public during her exile.
Olivier Blanc. Portraits de femmes artistes et modèles à l'époque de Marie-Antoinette. Paris, 2006, p. 68, ill. p. 62 (color), identifies the standing figure as Marie-Victoire Lemoine, probably giving a lesson to her younger sister, Denise Lemoine.
Laura Auricchio in Royalists to Romantics: Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles, and Other French National Collections. Exh. cat., National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington. London, 2012, p. 95.
Magnus Olausson in Stolthet & Fördom: Kvinna och konstnär i Frankrike och Sverige 1750–1860. Exh. cat., Nationalmuseum. Stockholm, 2012, p. 160, no. 32, ill. (color).
Marie-Josèphe Bonnet. Liberté, égalité, exclusion: femmes peintres en révolution, 1770–1804. Paris, 2012, pp. 147–48, 198, 202, calls the standing figure Vigée Le Brun and the seated one Lemoine; sees references to the allegorical theme of "pictura"; identifies the painting on the easel as a young woman kneeling before an altar to the goddess Minerva; interprets the subject as a series of homages.
Christiane de Aldecoa. "Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun . . . Autoportrait, ou une vie pour la peinture." Cahiers d'Histoire de l'Art no. 12 (2014), pp. 54, 59 n. 5, fig. 5 (color).
Joseph Baillio in Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. Ed. Joseph Baillio and Xavier Salmon. Exh. cat., Grand Palais, Galeries nationales. Paris, 2015, p. 249, under no. 108.
Stéphane Guégan in Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. Ed. Joseph Baillio and Xavier Salmon. Exh. cat., Grand Palais, Galeries nationales. Paris, 2015, pp. 138–39, 350, no. 38, ill. (color), states that the recently discovered signature and date of 1789, seven years before the picture was exhibited at the Salon, support Baillio's (1996) idea that the work was created as an homage to Vigée Le Brun.