Portrait of Geneviève Le Couteulx du Molay

Portrait of Geneviève Le Couteulx du Molay

By Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun (1755-1842)
1788
Oil on canvas
Inv. CAM 172
© Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris / photo: Jean Tholance

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Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun is best known as the portraitist of Queen Marie Antoinette and the aristocracy. In her memoirs, she described her model as “a pretty, very fashionable woman.” The natural pose, facial expression and elegant outfit reflect the sensibility of the artist and her complicity with the sitter. She composed this portrait during a stay at the Château de Malmaison, which belonged to the Le Couteulx du Molay family before General Bonaparte and his wife Josephine bought it in 1799.

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