Madame Grand (Noël Catherine Vorlée, 1761–1835)

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun French

Not on view

This is one of the most captivating works by Vigée Le Brun, the most important woman artist of her time. Marie Antoinette’s patronage aided Vigée Le Brun’s admission to the Académie Royale in 1783 as one of only four women members permitted. She sent three history paintings (an exceptional genre for a woman artist) and at least ten portraits (including this one) to that year’s Salon, which served as her public debut. Madame Grand was born to a French colonial family near Pondicherry, India, and as she rose to fame for her beauty and eventual marriage to the minister and diplomat Talleyrand, admirers and critics alike exoticized her origins by giving her the epithet “l’Indienne.”

Madame Grand (Noël Catherine Vorlée, 1761–1835), Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, Paris 1755–1842 Paris), Oil on canvas

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