Copy of the Self-portrait of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842)
Elizabeth Adams (1825–1898)
Oil on canvas
52 ½ x 46 in.
Gift of the artist’s nephew, Boylston Adams Beal
According to her biographer, Elizabeth Adams “dared to believe that a woman might dedicate her life to a profession.” Born to a renowned Boston family, Adams headed to France and Italy when she was thirty-four and spent more than a decade there devoted to the study of art.
This is Adams’s copy of the self-portrait of the French court artist Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun painting Queen Marie Antoinette. As one of the few women ever invited to contribute to the collection of artists’ self-portraits at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, Le Brun’s life story surely appealed to Adams, whose own artistic ambition was realized in 1885 when one of her paintings was chosen for exhibition at the Paris Salon.