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Portrait of Mrs. Chinnery

Court painter to Marie Antoinette, the portraitist Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun fled France during the French Revolution and spent several decades traveling through Europe. From 1803 to 1805, she lived in England, where she met Margaret Chinnery, a fashionable London society hostess. Vigée Le Brun painted this portrait during her stay at the Chinnery country estate, Gilwell Park. In her memoirs, the artist described her hostess as “a very handsome woman whose mind had great finesse and charm.” Here, Chinnery is depicted as a cultured woman reading a work by the French author Madame de Genlis.

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun
French, 1755–1842
Portrait of Mrs. Chinnery
1803
Oil on canvas
36 x 28 in. (91.4 x 71.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 75.68