The Vicomtesse de Vaudreuil

Object Details


The Vicomtesse de Vaudreuil


Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, 1755 - 1842)






Oil on panel


83.2 x 64.8 cm (32 3/4 x 25 1/2 in.)

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On an oval panel, a young woman poses in front of a landscape. Smiling slightly, she looks candidly out at the viewer.

The sitter, Victoire-Pauline de Riquet de Carama, was an aristocrat and her status improved when she married Jean-Louis, Vicomte de Vaudreuil in 1781. The artist Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun emphasized the Vicomtesse's status and refinement by carefully describing her fashionable straw hat, silk dress, and gauze scarf, collar, and cuffs. Displaying her learning, the Vicomtesse places her right thumb in her book to mark her place, as if she has been interrupted while reading. Vigée Le Brun adopted this obvious gesture, often used in men's portraits, to illustrate women's importance in French Enlightenment circles.

1884 - 1905

Baron (Mayer) Alphonse de Rothschild, 1827 - 1905 (Paris, France), by inheritance to his son, Edouard (Alphonse James) de Rothschild, 1905.

1905 - 1949

Baron Edouard (Alphonse James) de Rothschild, 1868 - 1949 (Paris, France), by inheritance to his wife, Germaine Alice Halphen de Rothschild, 1949.

1949 - 1975/1976

Baroness Germaine Alice Halphen de Rothschild, Austrian, 1884 - 1975 (Paris, France), by inheritance through her estate to her daughter, Jacqueline Rebecca Louise de Rothschild Piatigorsky, 1975/1976.

1975/1976 - 1980

Jacqueline Rebecca Louise de Rothschild Piatigorsky (Los Angeles, California) [sold, Piatigorsky sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, January 9, 1980, lot 95, to Wildenstein & Co.]

1980 - 1985

Wildenstein & Company (London, England; New York, New York; Paris, France), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, 1755 - 1842 (June 5 to August 8, 1982) (Cat. 16)
  • Kimbell Art Museum, (Fort Worth), June 5 to August 8, 1982

Le Brun, Elisabeth Louise Vigée. Souvenirs de Madame Louise-Vigée le Brun..., 3 vols. (Paris: H. Fournier, 1835-1837) vol. 1, p. 333.

Baillio, Joseph. "Identification de quelques portraits d'anonymes de Vigée Le Brun aux États-Unis." Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 6th ser., 96, no. 1342 (November 1980) pp. 158, 161-62, 167-68, n. 16, 17, ill.

Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York. Important Old Master Paintings and Drawings. January 3-8, 1980 unpaginated, lot 95.

Baillio, Joseph. "Le Dossier d'une oeuvre d'actualité politique: 'Marie-Antionette et ses enfants' par Mme Vigée Le Brun (1ère partie)." L'Oeil, no. 308 (March 1981) p. 41, fig. 9.

Baillio, Joseph. Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun, 1755-1842, exh. cat. (Fort Worth: Kimball Art Museum, 1982) pp. 8, 56-58, 85, no. 16, ill.

Lastic, Georges de. "Vigée Le Brun." La Chronique des arts: supplément à la Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 50, no. 1364 (September 1982) p. 34.

Sutton, Denys. "Madame Vigée Le Brun: A Survivor of the 'Ancien Régime.'" Apollo 116, no. 245 (July 1982) p. 25, pl. 4.

Dekker, H. T. Douwes. Elisabeth-Louise Vigée-Lebrun, 1755-1842, portraits à l'huile, essai d'un catalogue (The Hague: H.T. Douwes Dekker, 1984) p. 23, no. 123.

"Principales acquisitions des musées en 1985." La chronique des arts: Supplément à la Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 107, no. 1406 (March 1986) p. 31, no. 187, ill.

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986) p. 219, no. 127.

Bailey, Colin B. "The Comte de Vaudreuil: Aristocratic Collecting on the Eve of the Revolution." Apollo 130, no. 239 (July 1989) p. 22, fig. 4.

Vigee-Le Brun, Elisabeth. The Memoirs of Elisabeth Vigee-Le Brun. Siân Evans, trans. (London: Camden, 1989) p. 362.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 131, ill.

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College. Annual Report (2005-2006) p. 21.

Auricchio, Laura. Adélaïde Labille-Guiard: Artist in the Age of Revolution (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009) p. 61, fig. 48.

Toogood, Malcolm. Bath's Old Orchard Street Theatre (Chippenham: Cepenpark Publishing, 2010) p. 85, ill.

Education Resources

Education Resource




Ambitious Women Artists at Work

In this lesson plan students learn about two women artists and research a female artist working today.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts


Three/Five-Part Lesson