LEMOINE, Marie-Victoire
(b. 1754, Paris, d. 1820, Paris)

The Interior of an Atelier of a Woman Painter

1796
Oil on canvas, 117 x 89 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This picture is believed to be a painting of Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun by Lemoine, who pays homage to her by showing herself as the pupil. Vigée-Lebrun is shown palette and mahlstick in hand, pausing from work on an Antique-inspired subject, a votary of Athena, goddess of wisdom and patron of the arts, while her pupil makes a copy of it. It can be interpreted as eulogising Vigée-Lebrun as the original ground-breaker, the high priestess of female artists.

The painting was exhibited at the Salon of 1796 in Paris.