- NAME: Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun
- OCCUPATION: Painter
- BIRTH DATE: April 16, 1755
- DEATH DATE: March 30, 1842
- Did You Know?: Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun painted 30 portraits of Marie Antoinette, who was her most loyal patron.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Paris, France
- PLACE OF DEATH: Paris, France
- Full Name: Elisabeth Louise Vigée Lebrun
- AKA: Louise Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun
- AKA: Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun
- AKA: Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun
- AKA: Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun
- AKA: Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun
- Nickname: Madame Le Brun
Best Known For
The artist Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun was one of the best-known and most fashionable portraitists of 18th century France; her clients included the queen Marie Antoinette.
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She spent six years in Russia, where she met Empress Catherine II. She worked consistently throughout this time, producing portraits of royalty and aristocrats in her signature style.
Vigée Le Brun returned briefly to Paris in 1802. Finding France much changed since her departure, she chose to live and work in London from 1803–1805, and then she came home permanently in 1805.
Vigée Le Brun's French citizenship had been revoked when she left the country during the Revolution, and her husband was forced to divorce her on grounds of desertion. When she returned permanently to Paris, some of her fellow artists petitioned to have her citizenship renewed, and she reunited with her husband, without the official status of marriage. Her husband died in 1813, and her daughter died in 1819.
After her return to France, Vigée Le Brun spent much of her time at her country house in Louveciennes, near Paris. Her later work included some mythological scenes and many portraits of notable individuals, including the Prince of Wales (later George IV of England), Napoleon's sister Caroline Murat and woman of letters Germaine de Staël.
Vigée Le Brun published her memoirs, titled Souvenirs, in three volumes between 1835 and 1837. She died at her Paris residence on March 30, 1842.
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