The life of Marie Antoinette has been well documented. However the loveliest of ways and the most enduring image of the fated queen was in the paintings of Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun.
Vigee Le Brun began to paint as a child and by the age of 15 she already finished her first major painting. Her portraits got the attention of all of Paris and the court at Versailles. Once the Count de Provence, future Louis XVIII, saw her paintings he commissioned her to paint a portrait of him.
Her style of paintings with their very feminine touches was not overlooked by Marie Antoinette and asked her to paint her as well. She would paint the queen more than 30 times including the controversial painting of the queen in a white muslin dress.
Surviving the Revolution by leaving France she continued to paint in Italy and Russia before she was allowed to return to Paris. Today her paintings hang in the Musée du Louvre, Versailles and smaller museums all over France. Ahead of her time in a field dominated by men, she stood her ground and was unwavered in her vision to the end.
Listen to the full episode about the life of this amazing woman.
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