Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vigee-Lebrun, Marie Louise Elisabeth

Marie Antoinette in a Muslin dress
Oil on canvas
Collection of the prince Ludwig von Hessen und bei Rhein, Wolfsgarten Castle, Germany.

Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun (1755 - 1842).
French painter, and is recognized as the most famous female painter of the 18th century.

Convicted of treason, Queen of France Marie Antoinette's final words before being executed by guillotine were spoken to the executioner after she stepped on his foot --
"Monsieur, I beg your pardon."
Marie Antoinette was the Queen of France during the French Revolution. She was disliked because of her Austrian ancestry and because of her arrogance and extravagance during a time when peasants were starving.
In 1789 Paris was seized by the revolutionaries and Marie Antoinette and her husband King Louis XVI were held as prisoners at the palace of Tuileries until 1792 when they were charged with treason. Both were sentenced to die by beheading. Louis was beheaded on Jan. 21, 1793 and Marie followed him to her death in October of that same year.