Room 33 @ The National Gallery

I spent a day in London this week and had an hour to spare before taking
the train home. It was a beautiful afternoon, the sun was shining,
people were soaking it up everywhere you went. 
Photos of my day in London can be found here.

With an hour to spare I decided to visit a few old friends at The National Gallery.
I do this often...I know where to go, where to sit and what I want to enjoy.
These little experiences make up the fabric of my life.

On this occasion, I made a new friend. I was so struck by this painting that
I have not been able to stop thinking about it since. 
It is a self portrait painted by a French artist, Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun.  
On your next visit to The National Gallery, I encourage you to seek it is stunning. 
You will find it in Room 33, France 1700-1800.

What of Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun
I had to read the label next to the painting several times...a self portrait? 
A woman in the 1700's? I am not sure why I was so surprised. I did
not study Art History and perhaps there are many but I just could not recall another
of this era. I am sure a reader or two will enlighten me. I would love to know more.

What I did discover..
Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun was a remarkable woman. 
She painted many prominent figures in her time including her friend Marie Antoinette. 
A royalist, she lived in France until the revolution and fled to Russia
where she continued to paint. She was admired by many and lived a celebrated life.
Elisabeth's life was filled with accomplishments, scandal and intrigue.
She was a traveller, a woman of ambition and a very accomplished painter
as shown in her work here.

All painted by Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun

Marie Antoinette with children




Princess Eudocia Ivanovna Galitzine

I intend to read more about this remarkable woman and I am happy to add
her to my 'friends' list @ the National Gallery.

The Exceptional Woman: 
Elisabeht Vigee-LeBun and the Cultural Politics of Art 
Author: Mary D. Sheriff

Souvenirs of Madame Vigee Le Brun
Author: Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Le Brun

Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun: 
The Odyssey of an Artist in an Age of Revolution 
Author: Gita May


Before you go...have a look
at my little surprise

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!

Jeanne xx


  1. A special thank you goes out to the Tweet I received today from The National Gallery....

    @collageoflife Lovely entry about Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun! For those who are not familiar with the painter:

    It will make my future visits that more enjoyable...all in the fabric of life :)

  2. I love popping into the National too. My first stop is usually the Canalettos. I 'discovered' them a couple of years ago and now can't pass by without a quick visit. We are so lucky that they don't charge entry - it means that all that wonderful art is accessible for this quick friend visits! I'm in London tomorrow. Might have to pop in and check out Room 33 on this recommendation :)

  3. Wrightstuff...The Canalettos are beautiful
    I wrote about my favourite here:

    My other favourite rooms
    No. 34...
    The Morning Walk by Thomas Gainsborough

    Margate (?) from the Sea by Joseph Mallord William Turner

    No. 44...
    The Umbrellas by Renoir

    No. 46...
    Portrait of Hermine Gallia by Gustav Klint

    Enjoy your day @ The National!

  4. When I die...may I come back as your sister...friend...daughter??? What a wonderful way to spend a day! Our closest Art Museaum is 70 miles away and while that is fairly close, my schedule makes it so that I don't get there very often.. I love to do that though...the arts are my passion. It sounds like you are exceptionally learned in art also. I be enviously thinking of you!!!

  5. One of the reasons I love blogging is wonderful people like you share their cultural gems and enrich us all! Thank you, I will be going to the NT soon, and will go and see her for myself. Fascinating.

  6. Yeah! I went, I saw your new friend in Room 33!! I was practically walking past so frankly it would have been rude not pop in and say hello. I loved her too. It was a whistle stop visit but I did see the Gainsboroughs, Turners and I really fancied a dose of Van Gogh which I got too!

  7. Wrightstuff....You have no idea how excited I am to hear that WS! I nearly walked past it too. First it was the hat, then the face and then the fact that it is a self portrait. I am going back for more..and hopefully, this time I will stay a bit longer. Thanks for letting me know!

  8. Wow - what an hour turned into! Always a pleasure to drop by Jeanne.

    Don't you love social media monitoring! I wrote a blog post about Port Arthur in Tasmania after our visit, and the tourism people sent a comment. It was a bit spooky at first. The NG hould put you the payroll. Wouldn't that be fab!