LABILLE-GUIARD, Adélaide
(b. 1749, Paris, d. 1803, Paris)

Madame Élisabeth de France

c. 1787
Pastel on blue paper, seven sheets joined, laid down on canvas, oval, 79 x 65 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

In this study for a more formal portrait, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard portrays the younger sister of Louis XVI, who eventually followed him to the guillotine. The simple costume of Madame Élisabeth (1764–1794) accords with her gentle manner.

Labille-Guiard learned pastel technique from Maurice Quentin de La Tour. She was skilled at capturing the moods of her sitters, bringing their mobile expressions closely into view.