Vigee Le Brun
Elizabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun is noted as a very prominent woman/artist in the

World of the Eighteenth Century art. She is known for her work as a portrait
painter. Her most famous works are included in the series that she had painted
at age twenty-four of Queen Marie-Antoinette. Vigee-Le Brun was a woman of so
many talents. Before she died at eighty-seven years old, she was an accomplished
artist, exceptional musician, and a loving mother to her daughter Julie. Vigee-Le

Brun was an unusually unattractive woman. She was charming and self-confident
with an ability to present her sitters\' personas most advantageously. Vigee-Le

Brun was very reputable because she managed to keep her head and professional
reputation in a time of political upheaval. (French Revolution). This allowed
her to gain fame in France, Italy, Austria, and Russia. Vigee-Le Brun was such
an endowed artist that by the age of fifteen she could have supported herself
and her family, if her funds weren\'t taken away from her by her stepfather and
unruly husband. Just nine years later she began her most famous portrait series
of Marie-Antoinette. This series included "Marie-Antoinette and her
children at Versailles -1788," (shown below) the last portrait of thirty
that Vigee-Le Brun painted of the doomed queen. This painting still hangs at

Versailles. Louis XVI said to Vigee-Le Brun, " I have no knowledge of
painting, but you make me fond of it." (Levey 280). Notice the painting
shown on the pervious page. Vigee-Le Brun was a painter of the Rococo period.

Rococo is best described as an eighteenth century art style that placed emphasis
on portraying the carefree life of the aristocracy rather than on grand heroes
or pious martyrs. Love and romance were considered to be better subjects for art
than historical or religious subjects. The style was characterized by a free,
graceful movement; a playful use of line; and delicate colors. This is
represented it the work "Marie-Antoinette and her children at Versailles
-1788." To describe the work in great detail you must first look at

Marie-Antoinette. Her complexion is very fair and she is portrayed as an
extremely feminine woman. Her femininity is also shown by her dress. The dress
is a rich, red color with a low neckline, and surrounded by lace and ribbons.

This could represent a "life-line" between Marie-Antoinette and the
youngest of her children because the baby boy is holding on to it for support.

All babies need to feel this closeness with their mothers. Vigee-Le Brun could
have used that to show Marie-Antoinette as a good motherly figure to the other
mothers whom would have seen this work. Another symbol of her motherliness is
shown because she is holding her children next to what could be the bed of one
of the children, most likely the baby\'s crib. The dress is harboring a skirt
that is more than enough trouble for Marie-Antoinette to handle in one day. This
gown is a representation of the aristocracy and of a woman\'s power. She is
wearing a large, matching hat with overbearing feathers. This is also a
representation of power. The hat is a frequent characteristic in the series of

Marie-Antoinette. Another characteristic of the series is shown by

Marie-Antoinette\'s legs and feet being rested upon a very decorated pillow. This
could show that she was of the aristocracy and her feet should be above the dirt
on the floor. Now we move on to the children in the painting. They are all
wearing fancy clothes, just as children of the aristocracy would. The oldest
child is looking up with a gaze in her eyes of admiration for her mother. She
looks as if she is being shown as a young Marie-Antoinette. The young girl\'s
dress is also like that of her mother\'s. It too, is a deep red color with a
small outline of lace and ribbon around the neck. The dress has an added bow
around the waist. This is done to show the dress as a dress of less maturity.

The daughter does look like a young version of her mother, yes; but she can not
be shown as overly mature because she is still a young lady. The bow simply down
plays the power because of the child-like characteristic. The baby boy in the
picture is, as noted in the first paragraph, holding onto his mother with an
urgency to fulfill the need of the mother\'s love and presence. The young boy,
the middle child, is standing next to the crib of the baby boy with his finger
pointing