What meets the eye is an upper-class woman posing to be painted in a
portrait. Done up in an elaborate way she creates quite a charming
and captivating spectacle. Is it vanity that meets the eye? The fact
that the lady is quite conscious of herself being enchanting and
deriving pleasure out of it? Or sheer innocence? One almost feels
like having had a glimpse into the secret of the heart that the
lady dressed up impeccably projects. The artist sure succeeds in
giving a characteristic attitude and expression in a nonchalantly
One can see feminine attributes and delicacy as a predominating element
in the work, which can be seen compensated with the excellence of undeniable flesh tones. The accessories have been done with admirable
skill The portrait has been painted in a charming and graceful style with sobriety and a note of sincerity that was exceptional in the
eighteenth-century art of France.
Above all what comes across as the most appealing aspect of the work
is the element of universality that was the characteristic of nearly
all the portraits done by the talented artist. Her portraits do not
owe their beauty to the fact that they belong to anyone special period, or because they bear the imprint of any definite epoch, but
they are and always will be beautiful because of the universal truth
they express. The truth of the human heart.
If we would catch in an attitude or in a look the moral reflection, so
to speak, of an epoch, if we would read the thoughts or divine the dreams harboured under the elaborate headdresses of the great ladies
of that day, or would guess the secrets of those hearts, sometimes
full of tenderness, again light and flippant, concealed beneath
transparent muslin fichus, it is to the works of Madame Vigee Le Brun
that we must turn for answers to our queries.
This description is by Bhoomika Jain.
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