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Portrait of Madame Du Barry

1781
Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, French, 1755 - 1842

Jeanne Du Barry must have liked this portrait since she commissioned two versions of it: one for each of her lovers in the 1780s. This panel belonged to Henry Seymour, an English aristocrat who lived a few miles from Madame Du Barry and became her lover about 1780. Known for her beauty, generosity, and for never speaking ill of others, Madame Du Barry was also an admirer and patron of the arts.



Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun’s understanding of and sympathy for her subjects is evident in the informal way she presents Madame Du Barry, turning her head and parting her lips, as if speaking to a companion. The straw hat and lightweight muslin dress add to the casual and spontaneous air of this likeness.

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Object Details

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