(b. 1755, Paris, d. 1842, Paris)

Madame Perregaux

Oil on panel, 100 x 79 cm
Wallace Collection, London

Madame Perregaux was the wife of a Parisian banker whose clients included the third Marquess of Hertford and the artist herself. The painting was bought by the fourth Marquess of Hertford to the present Wallace Collection.

Vigée-Lebrun, ravished by the charm of her own appearance, and hardly able to paint a male sitter, continued the 18th century's cult of women. In Vigée-Lebrun we have the last view of eighteen-century woman - who had begun as a goddess, became a courtesan, and now ended all heart - before Napoleon and War banished her from the centre of events.