Vigée Lebrun was a very talented and privileged woman artist. As she tells in her memoirs, her childhood was the symbol of her entire life, because her taste for painting was manifested from her childhood, when she demonstrated it by drawing and painting, an innate passion for art. In relation to her profession, the artist said: “Actually, it is to this divine passion that I owe not only my fortune, but also my happiness, because it has always been the means to meet the most charming and distinguished men and women in Europe.” By the way, she was able to do this in an artistic environment dominated by men without becoming masculinized or prostituting herself, as some detractors wanted to make out. Vigée Lebrun was very feminine, beautiful, and elegant, as can be seen in her self-portraits (1). In the same way, she knew how to combine her role as an artist and mother very well, without both roles being affected by each other.
From 1789, for 13 years, Vigée Lebrun, divorced and together with her daughter, was in exile in some European countries, Italy, Austria, and Russia, where, using her talent, she managed to be recognized and maintain a worthy lifestyle, thanks to her reputation and income as a portrait artist. Finally, in 1802, she returned to France during the reign of Emperor Napoleon I. Then, in demand by Europe’s elite, she traveled to England, where she painted the portraits of various British notables. When in 1807 she traveled to Switzerland she was made an honorary member of the Société pour l’Avancement des Beaux-Arts in Geneva.