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    Sale 2134

    Old Master and 19th Century Drawings

    29 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 63

    Elizabeth-Louise-Vigée Lebrun (Paris 1755-1842)

    Portrait of a boy, bust-length

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Elizabeth-Louise-Vigée Lebrun (Paris 1755-1842)
    Portrait of a boy, bust-length
    signed, dated and inscribed '1801 L.E. Vigée Le Brun à Dresde'
    pastel, feigned mount
    13¼ x 9 7/8 in. (336 x 251 mm.)


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    Elizabeth-Louise-Vigée Lebrun left France at the dawn of the Revolution and traveled all over Europe during the eleven years of her self inflicted exile. She first took refuge in Italy, then went to Vienna (1793-5) before settling in Saint Petersburg (1795-1801). She kept a diary where she recorded impressions of cities, courts, countryside, and people. She published it in Paris years later as her Souvenirs.
    Her stay in Dresden in 1801 on her way back to Paris was brief and followed a new sojourn in Berlin. While in these two German cities, she seems to have favored pastel over oil painting, probably because it needed less preparation, material, and space. Sadly, her Souvenirs do not identify the sitter of this charming portrait of a boy smiling at the viewer.

    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Weinmüller, Munich, 15 March 1962, ill.
    With Newhouse Gallery, New York.
    The William G. Helis family, New Orleans, by 1960; Sotheby's, New York, 11 January 1990, lot 147.


    Literature

    N. Jeffares, Dictionary of Pastellists before 1800, London, 2006, p. 552.