Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

Possible Classroom Concepts: Social Studies – Women’s History, All About Me, Families

Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Mary Cassatt, And Six Others

Portraits, Face Proportions


I am very excited to see that Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun’s portraits are presently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I can’t wait to trek up there and see them in person. Since March is Women’s History Month, it’s a perfect time to share her story with you. I first learned about her in an art history class a few years ago and have been obsessed with her story ever since. She was court portrait painter to Marie Antoinette and painted other aristocrats from all across Europe. What impresses me the most about this artist is that she was a success in a time when women were not even allowed to go to art school. After learning some skills from her father, she was basically self taught and went on to become the breadwinner of her family (another unusual accomplishment for this time in history). To learn more about this adventurous artist, check out this excellent post by Art History Mom here. Also check out The National Gallery of Art’s Le Brun post here.

Read about another famous woman portrait artist, Mary Cassatt, who painted about a century later, here.

So, if you are studying an All About Me unit or a Family unit, this post would be a nice motivation for a portrait project. After an introduction to portrait paintings, go over the proportions of a face with the help of this free downloadable. Then maybe try this lesson for a self portrait or something like this lesson for a watercolor family portrait.

If you are interested in more stories about women artists, check out this Metropolitan Museum of Art Family Guide.

I hope you enjoyed exploring these accomplished women as much as I enjoyed writing this post. If you did maybe you’d like to become a follower. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Simply click on the title of  this post, scroll down to the comment section and type away.

Hope you’ll stop by again real soon.


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