Saturday, July 21, 2012

Marie-Guillemine Benoist - Female French Neoclassical Painter

 born Marie-Guillemine de Laville-Leroux

[French Painter, 1768-1826]Marie-Guillemine Benoist (1768-1826): Marie-Guillemine Benoist was the daughter of a government official. She studied with Vigee-Lebrun and her earlier works show a distinct influence of her famous teacher. Benoist later studied with the celebrated Jacques-Louis David and her later works reflect the Neo-Classical style.During her lifetime, Benoist painted in several genres ranging from historical themes to family portraiture.Her works also included subjects that touched upon the contemporary issues of her day:herPortrait of a Negress, painted in 1800,for instance, was inspired by the decree to abolish slavery.Benoist was commissioned by Napolean to paint his portrait as well as portraits of his family members. 
References: Women Artists: An Illustrated History by Nancy G. Heller, pp.63-64. 

Marie Guilhelmine Benoist (1768 – 1826) painted this portrait of Napoleon in 1809. She also painted portraits of Napoleon’s sisters Pauline and Elisa, as well as his second wife, Marie Louise.

click to enlarge

Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borghese, by Marie Guilhelmine Benoist.  Pauline Bonaparte was born October 20, 1780.Pauline Borghese

Empress Marie-Louise

Portrait of a black woman (1800) is a very special painting. It is one of the first portraits of real existing african person in western art. 
Marie-Guillemine Benoist (self-portrait)

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