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Vigee-Lebrun, Marie Louise Elisabeth (1755-1842)

Elizabeth Louise Lebrun (de Lebrun, 1755-1842, nee Vigee) - French portraitist, the daughter of a minor painter, was born in Paris. In early childhood, began to study painting with his father, and after his death, when she had not yet passed nine years, took painting lessons from Mr. Briard, was engaged in copying the Louvre gallery and the advice of Doyena, Greuze and Vernet.

For all that she was unable to complete his artistic training properly, being forced to work hard for the money. Her mother, a woman is empty and wasteful, in 1776, married her off to the painter, engraver and art dealer Lebrun, whose deeds, seemingly brilliant, were frustrated, and that led on his wife, actress outdoor life, it took away all of her earnings by providing it for the freedom of behavior and relations with people.

Without the benefit of marital bliss, the artist sought comfort in a circle of educated and secular people, trying to improve in art and soon acquired an extensive practice among aristocrats. In 1783, for written it with a portrait of herself, the Paris Academy of took it to its members. She was in great favor with the queen, who gave her the title of his first portraitist, she sang a duet with her, took her to the walk, almost became her friend.

The first signs of the impending flare revolution led Lebrun leave France. She went to Italy, where he met her everywhere in triumph, and Bologna and Parma Academy elected her as a member. From Italy, she moved to Vienna and stayed there for about three years, and then, via Prague, Dresden and Berlin, went to St. Petersburg, where he arrived in the summer of 1795.

Everywhere took it with the same enthusiasm as in Italy: princes, members of their names, know the rich arts lovers around an attractive actress all kinds of attention and were in a hurry to book her portraits, rewarding her for their generous hand and a tray of her Academy membership certificates. In St. Petersburg, Lebrun spent 6 years gone away from here only once in the six months to Moscow.

Traces of her time in Russia there were numerous portraits, now scattered on the imperial palaces and aristocratic houses. Among other things, she painted portraits of the Empress Maria Feodorovna (located in the Hermitage Pavilion), Princess Elizabeth Alekseevny (in the Romanov Gallery of the Winter Palace), the Grand Duchesses Alexandra and Elena Pavlova, Stanislaus Poniatowski, Count Tolstoy, and many others. On the occasion of its adoption, in 1800, a honorary member of our Academy, she earned her the gift of a portrait of his own work, who is to this day in the meeting room of the Academic Council.

In 1801, Le Brun returned to Paris, but not for long, and, having started back in trip, visited England, Holland and Switzerland twice. Finally he returned to France in 1809, she settled in Marley, where, surrounded by contentment and honor, continued to paint until deep old age. According to the list compiled by herself, from her left wrist 662 portraits, 15 paintings of historical and allegorical content and 15 landscapes. Advantages of her works, especially portraits, are elegant and generally serviceable, though not strict pattern, not strong, but pleasant and harmonious flavor and slick, free admission letter. Extremely curious her memoirs, published for the first time published in 1835 under the title: "Souvenirs de ma vie", and then reprinted several times.

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