10.12.08

Madame du Barry, by Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

Elena at Tea at Trianon has a post about Madame du Barry, née Jeanne Bécu, the last mistress of Louis XV. A former courtesan, she was guillotined on December 8, 1793. I found this redirect at Versailles and More.

Here she is, painted by Madame Vigée-Lebrun, who also recorded her impressions of the model in her Memoirs:

It was in 1786 that I went for the first time to Louveciennes, where I had promised to paint Madame du Barry. She might then have been about forty-five years old. She was tall without being too much so; she had a certain roundness, her throat being rather pronounced but very beautiful; her face was still attractive, her features were regular and graceful; her hair was ash blonde, and curly like a child's. But her complexion was beginning to fade. She received me with much courtesy, and seemed to me very well behaved, but I found her more spontaneous in mind than in manner: her glance was that of a coquette, for her long eyes were never quite open, and her pronunciation had something childish which no longer suited her age. more...

Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun has a certain recognizable style in her portraits. her portraits my be found here. Her use of colours, poses, and accessories lend acertain air of realism which today can only be seen in photos.

Thanks to both Catherine and Elena-Maria for this article.

Dieu Le Roy!
de Brantigny

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