Exhibitions/ Art Object

Marie Antoinette and Her Children

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, Paris 1755–1842 Paris)
Oil on canvas
108 1/4 in. × 85 1/4 in. (275 × 216.5 cm) Frame: 146 7/16 in. × 106 1/8 in. × 9 7/16 in. (372 × 269.5 × 24 cm)
Credit Line:
Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon (MV 4520)
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 199
In 1785, by order of Louis XVI, the office of royal households commissioned this important portrait of Marie Antoinette from Vigée Le Brun, the first woman to attain the rank of painter to the king. Inspired by depictions of the Holy Family, the work was intended to extoll the queen’s maternal role. The empty bassinet alludes to her fourth child, who had recently died.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): L. Vigée Le Brun 1787
Paris. Grand Palais, Galeries nationales. "Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun," September 23, 2015–January 11, 2016.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France," February 15–May 15, 2016.

Ottawa. National Gallery of Canada. "Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842): The Portraitist to Marie Antoinette," June 10–September 11, 2016.