If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Vigée Le Brun, Madame Perregaux

Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, Madame Perregaux, 1789, oil on oak panel, 99.6 x 78.5 cm (Wallace Collection, London) Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris, Dr. Steven Zucker. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.

Want to join the conversation?

  • female robot grace style avatar for user divaCassandra1
    Who is Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun? Does anyone know anything more about her?

    Who is Madame Perregaux?
    (12 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
    • leaf green style avatar for user FinallyGoodAtMath
      She was a very important female painter in the 18th century. She painted for Marie Antoinette. After the Revolution, she fled to Italy, Austria and Russia. She returned to France during Napoleon's reign. She was very popular. I didn't know there were famous female painters from this time.

      Madame Perregaux was the wife of a French banker and art collector.
      (14 votes)
  • orange juice squid orange style avatar for user Suzanne
    What is the name of the painting shown at ? I really like that one
    (6 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user John
      The name of the painting at is entitled, "Self Portrait in a Straw Hat" by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun sometime around 1782. It seems Le Brun imitated the Portrait of Susanna Lunden(?) ('Le Chapeau de Paille' (meaning The Straw Hat)) around 1622-5 by Peter Paul Rubens. Vigée Le Brun had apparently seen the painting in Antwerp and inspired her to paint her self portrait in a similar fashion.
      (7 votes)
  • leafers seedling style avatar for user KekeBella
    The colors in this painting is vibrant and vintage the datjened edges are critique, why such defaulted and calm message ?
    (1 vote)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
  • blobby green style avatar for user beastman179
    I don't understand the sentence "...Completion" by her husband...?" What is the critic saying?
    (0 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user

Video transcript

(soft piano music) Lady: This is a remarkable portrait. It's so life-like. I love her dress, her collar, her bow, and her hat, and the feather, when the curtain she pulls away, and how she peaks out at something. Man: It's so animated. It's really wonderful. For all of the artifist, all of the complexity, and the attention to costume. It's not only very natural, but she comes through. For the energy and curiosity, it feels if you get a sense of who she really is. Lady: Oh! Completely. This is [completion] by her husband here in the eve of the French Revolution. Her name is Madame Perregaux. This is a portrait by Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun. Man: I think it's really interesting since ... look at the way the painting is constructed. She's taken a very simple composition and a very traditional one of a woman, through the half -length portrait, with a curtain on one side, and an open space on the other at a balcony. She's created, first of all, the sense of the Revelation, by pulling the curtain back. Lady: Kind of a little drama. Man: Absolutely. Then she's also formally constructing that lovely arch on the lower right. That begins then to set off a couple of other arch's. The arch's of her arms, of her collar, of her hat, and then of that lovely red ribbon that trims her waistcoat. Lady: She's taken a formal element of that broke curtain we see behind figures in portraits and made it something much more playful. Man: Yeah. It really engaging it. It's just I think a masterful example of how the portrait can be brought to life. (piano music)