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Adelaide Labille-Guiard

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Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (April 11, 1749 – April 24, 1803) was a French history and portrait painter.

Born in Paris, the daughter of a haberdasher, she studied miniature painting with François-Elie Vincent and oils with his son François-André. Her early works were exhibited at the Académie de Saint-Luc, and after it closed in 1776, at the Salon de la Correspondance.She married Louis-Nicolas Guiard in 1769, but separated from him in 1777. Thereafter, she earned a living by teaching painting.

On May 31, 1783, Labille-Guiard was accepted as a member of the French Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. Three other women, including Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun, were admitted as members on the same day, with some consternation on the part 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.

The paintings of Labille-Guiard and Vigée-Le Brun were often compared by critics, with Vigée-Le Brun usually getting the more favorable notices. Labille-Guiard's early masterpiece Self-portrait with two pupils, exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1785, was influenced by Vigée-Le Brun's style. The artwork of Adélaïde Labille-Guiard now is being considered of more equal value.

Patronage by the aunt of Louis XVI of France, the princess Marie Adélaïde, gained Labille-Guiard a government pension of 1,000 livres, and commissions to paint Adélaïde, her sister Victoire-Louise, and Élisabeth, the king's sister. The portrait of Adélaïde, exhibited in 1787, was Labille-Guiard's largest and most ambitious work to that date. In 1788 she was commissioned by the king's brother, the Count of Provence (later Louis XVIII of France), to paint him at the centre of a large historical work, Réception d'un chevalier de Saint-Lazare par Monsieur, Grand maître de l'ordre.

These royal connections made Labille-Guiard politically suspect after the French Revolution of 1789. In 1793 she was ordered to destroy some of her royalist works, including the unfinished commission for the Count of Provence.

She was far from conservative, however, in the early 1790s she campaigned for the Academy to be opened up to the general admission of women. At the Salon of 1791 she exhibited portraits of members of the National Assembly, including Maximilien Robespierre and Armand, duc d'Aiguillon.

In 1793 she and her first husband, from whom she separated in 1777, were divorced. In 1795 she obtained artist's lodging at the Louvre and a new pension of 2,000 livres. She continued to exhibit portraits at the Salon until 1800. On June 8, 1799, she married her teacher, François-André Vincent, signing some of her paintings "Madame Vincent". She died on April 24, 1803.

The Getty Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth, Texas), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), the National Museum in Warsaw, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington D.C.), the Speed Art Museum (Kentucky) and Versailles are among the public collections holding works by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard.

-Wikipedia

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