Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat, 1782
Louise Élisabeth Vigée le Brun (1755-1842) has been recognized as the most important female painter of the 18th century. While her style has been considered Rococo with an interest in neoclassical painting (art inspired by classical Greek or Roman artwork). Being the daughter of a portraitist painter it is no shock that she would pursue a similar trade. By the time she was in her teens she was painting portraits professionally only to have her studio seized for practicing without a license. She then applied to Académie de Saint Luc where not only was her work exhibited but she became a member of the Académie.
Portrait of Marie Antoinette, 1783 Marie Antoinette with her children, 1787
In 1775 she married Charles Le Brun and with his family connections was invited to the Palace of Versailles to paint Marie Antoinette. She was so pleased with her work that for a six year period she would paint more than thirty portraits of the queen and her family. Vigée le Brun then became commonly known as the official portraitist of Marie Antoinette untils he was succeeded by Alexander Kucharsky.