Adélaide Labille-Guiard - Portrait painter: 1749 - 1803
Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun - Portrait painter: 1755 - 1842
Adelaide Labille-Guiard studied painting with the miniaturist Francois-Elie Vincent and later with his son, François-André, and with Maurice Quentin de la Tour. She painted numerous portraits in pastels and later in oils. Labille-Guiard had her own studio and several female pupils.
Elizabeth Vigée-Le Brun's father and first teacher was the well-known portraitist Louis Vigée. She was much in demand as a portrait painter to the nobility. Her great opportunity came in 1779 when she was summoned to Versailles to paint a portrait of Queen Marie-Antoinette. The two women became friends, and in subsequent years Vigée-Lebrun painted more than 20 portraits of Marie-Antoinette.
Adelaide Labille-Guiard first exhibited her art in 1774 at the Académie de Saint-Luc's Salon. After that exhibition, her works were often be compared to those of Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, a fellow member of the Académie de Saint-Luc. The Académie de Saint-Luc closed its doors in 1777.
Then in 1783, after 77 years of insisting on an exclusively male membership, the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture finally admitted Adélaide Labille-Guiard, Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun and two other women to the consternation of some of the male members. The acceptance of the women together created a comparison among their works rather than to the works of the established members, easing the concerns of the old members. Works by both women are now to be found in galleries all over the world.
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