The Interior of a Woman Painter's Studio

Marie Victoire Lemoine French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 638

Although she painted this work in 1789, Lemoine could not exhibit it at the prestigious Paris Salon until 1796, when post-Revolutionary reforms greatly expanded women artists’ access to the official art world. The title suggests an ideal or generic depiction of women artists, but those close to Lemoine recognized a self-portrait with her sister Marie Elisabeth, who was also a painter. Lemoine’s skills in still life and portraiture, categories in which women most often trained, are readily visible, but a history painting—the highest category in the academic system and usually considered in this period as ill-suited to women—is underway on the easel in the scene.

The Interior of a Woman Painter's Studio, Marie Victoire Lemoine (French, Paris 1754–1820 Paris), Oil on canvas

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