Artist profile: Vigée Le Brun – Austria

Every month, I profile an artist who inspires my own art,
in several segments.

All images were sourced from The Art of Elizabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun.

Vigée Le Brun spent two and a half years in Vienna, Austria, the birthplace of Marie Antoinette. Vienna welcomed her just as enthusiastically as Italy had, and she again enjoyed a vibrant social life. Her happiness was tempered by news from France in late 1793: Queen Marie Antoinette had been executed, one of many friends Vigée Le Brun lost to the French Revolution. She herself was labeled an emigrée, which meant that she would be arrested if she set foot in France. Her husband divorced her to protect himself.

While in Austria, Vigée Le Brun made friends with and painted many aristocrats, ambassadors, and their families. Below are just four artworks she made while in the country. The last is a pastel; Vigée Le Brun often made pastel studies of sitters upon which she based her oil paintings.

Countesse Bystry (1792)
Countesse Bystry (1792)

Count Grigory Ivanovich Tchernyshov Holding a Mask (1793)
Count Grigory Ivanovich Tchernyshov Holding a Mask (1793)

Theresa, Countess Kinsky (1793)
Theresa, Countess Kinsky (1793)

Lady Guisford (year unknown)
Lady Guisford (year unknown)

Vigée Le Brun and Julie left Austria for Russia in 1795. Next week, we will find them in St. Petersburg.

Other parts in the Vigée Le Brun artist profile series
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