April 11 1749 - April 24 1803
Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, Self-Portrait with Two Pupils, Mademoiselle Marie Gabrielle Capet and Mademoiselle Carreaux de Rosemond , 1785. Oil on canvas. 83 x 59 1/2 inches (211 x 151 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA. Gift of Julia A. Berwind
Place of Birth:
Drawings and prints, Painting
History Painter, Miniaturist, Oil Painter, Painter, Pastelist, Portraitist
The youngest of eight children born to a Parisian haberdasher and his wife, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard was receiving praise for her skillfully crafted portraits by her early twenties. Despite periods of financial distress, an unhappy first marriage (and subsequent divorce), and the inevitable comparisons with her younger, more socially prominent fellow painter Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Le Brun, this talented and ambitious artist remained dedicated to building a successful career. She worked for numerous royal and aristocratic patrons, won admission to the French Royal Academy in 1783, and was ultimately awarded the title Peintre des Mesdames
(painter to the king’s aunts), a government pension, and an apartment at the Louvre.
Labille-Guiard worked with several accomplished teachers, learning how to make miniature portraits and work with pastels. She also studied oil painting with François-André Vincent, whom she married in 1800. Labille-Guiard herself became an influential teacher, known for her devotion to her female pupils, many of whom went on to establish their own careers as painters.
A lifelong champion of women’s rights, Labille-Guiard worked toward reforming the Academy’s policies toward women. Unlike Vigée-Le Brun, she supported the French Revolution and remained in Paris during this tumultuous era, winning new patrons and creating portraits of several deputies of the National Assembly. Although she also produced some history paintings, it was with her carefully crafted portraits that Labille-Guiard made her mark.
Private lessons, Paris, France (ca. 1764 - ca. 1780)
wife and student of François-André Vincent
daughter-in-law and student of François-Élie Vincent
presumed student of Maurice Quentin de la Tour
teacher of Marie Gabrielle Capet
teacher of Marie Marguerite Carreaux de Rosemond
rival of Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Le Brun
colleague of Marie-Geneviève Navarre
Peintre des Mesdames, Court of Louis XVI, Versailles, France (1787)
Member, Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Paris, France (1783)