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Current time:0:00Total duration:1:44

Video transcript

this is a remarkable portrait it's so lifelike I love her dress and her collar and her bow and her hat - the feather and the curtain she pulls away and how she peeks out at something it's so animated it's really wonderful for all of the artifice all of the complexity and the attention to costume not only very natural but she comes through full of energy and curiosity you feel as if you really get a sense of who she is Oh completely this was commissioned by her husband here on the eve of the French Revolution her name is Madame Perrigo and this is a portrait by Elizabeth vision Lebrun I think it's really interesting to look at the way the painting is constructed she's taken a very sort of simple composition in a very traditional one of a woman through the half-length portrait with a curtain on one side in an open space on the other at a balcony but she's created first of all the sense of the revelation by pulling that curtain back kind of little drama absolutely but then she's also formally constructing that lovely arc on the lower right that begins to then set off a couple of other arcs the arcs of her arms of her collar of her hat and then again at that lovely red ribbon that just trims her waistcoat she's taken a formal element of that baroque curtain that we see behind figures and portraits and made it something much more playful yeah really engaging it it's just I think a masterful example of how the portrait can be brought to life