Home » The Exceptional Woman: Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun and the Cultural Politics of Art by Mary D. Sheriff
The Exceptional Woman: Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun and the Cultural Politics of Art Mary D. Sheriff

The Exceptional Woman: Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun and the Cultural Politics of Art

Mary D. Sheriff

Published
ISBN : 9780226752754
Hardcover
368 pages
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 About the Book 

Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1755-1842) was an enormously successful painter, a favorite portraitist of Marie-Antoinette, and one of the few women accepted into the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. In accounts of her role as an artist, she wasMoreElisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1755-1842) was an enormously successful painter, a favorite portraitist of Marie-Antoinette, and one of the few women accepted into the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. In accounts of her role as an artist, she was simultaneously flattered as a charming woman and vilified as monstrously unfeminine.In The Exceptional Woman, Mary D. Sheriff uses Vigée-Lebruns career to explore the contradictory position of woman-artist in the moral, philosophical, professional, and medical debates about women in eighteenth-century France. Paying particular attention to painted and textual self-portraits, Sheriff shows how Vigée-Lebruns images and memoirs undermined the assumptions about woman and the strictures imposed on women.Engaging ancien-régime philosophy, as well as modern feminism, psychoanalysis, literary theory, and art criticism, Sheriffs interpretations of Vigée-Lebruns paintings challenge us to rethink the work and the world of this controversial woman artist.