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The Artist’s Brother

Artist
Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, French, 1755–1842
Depicted
Étienne Louis Jean-Baptiste Vigée, 1758-1820
Date
1773
Material
Oil on canvas
Place made
France, Europe
Classification
Paintings
Current Location
On View, Gallery 202
Dimensions
24 1/4 x 19 7/8 in. (61.6 x 50.5 cm)
framed: 34 x 29 1/4 x 4 3/8 in. (86.4 x 74.3 x 11.1 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Rights
Public Domain
Object Number
3:1940
NOTES
By posing the boy looking over his shoulder and by angling his hat over his forehead, Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun achives a lovely image of youthful bravado. The portrait -very likely the artist's brother Etienne at the age of fifteen-is probably the one the artist described in her memoirs as "my brother in schoolboy's dress." She alludes to his interest in letters (he later became a celebrated writer) by including a sheaf of papers and a pen. The artist created this portrait when she was only eighteen.
Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842), Paris, France

Private Collection, Chateau d'Aignes-Vives, Cher-et-Loire, France, given by the artist [1]

by 1939 - 1940
Wildenstein & Co., Paris, France; New York, NY, USA

1940 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Wildenstein & Co. [2]


Notes:
[1] A letter from the Museum to Wildenstein & Co. dated October 16, 1939, requests that the painting be sent to the Museum so it may be considered for acquisition [SLAM document files]. According to the invoice from Wildenstein & Co. dated January 6, 1940, the painting was given by Vigée Le Brun to the owners of Chateau d'Aignes-Vives in the Cher-et-Loire region of France [SLAM document files].

[2] Per invoice (see note [1]). Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, January 4, 1940.
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