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The Memoirs of Madame Vigée Lebrun   By:

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Memoirs of Madame Vigée Lebrun

Uniform with this volume:

MEMOIRS OF COUNTESS POTOCKA Illustrated. Translated by Lionel Strachey

MEMOIRS OF A CONTEMPORARY Illustrated. Translated by Lionel Strachey

[Illustration: MME. VIGÉE LEBRUN AND HER DAUGHTER.]

Memoirs of Madame Vigée Lebrun

Translated by Lionel Strachey

With Numerous Reproductions of Paintings by the Authoress

London Grant Richards 1904

Copyright, 1903, by Doubleday, Page & Company

Printed by Manhattan Press New York. N. Y., U. S. A.

PREFATORY NOTE

Madame Lebrun brought out her Memoirs at the suggestion of her friend, the Princess Dolgoruki, in 1835. The authoress was born in 1756, at Paris, where she died in 1842. She was the daughter of Louis Vigée, an obscure portrait painter. Her baptismal name was Marie Louise Elisabeth. In 1776 Mademoiselle Vigée was married to Jean Baptiste Pierre Lebrun, a notable picture dealer and critic, known also to his contemporaries as an inveterate gambler.

This book forms a rendering of Madame Carette's edition of the Lebrun Memoirs, slightly abridged for the sake of uniformity with the "Memoirs of the Countess Potocka" and the "Memoirs of a Contemporary," issuing from the same hands as the present volume.

CONTENTS

Page

CHAPTER I. YOUTH.

Precocious Talents Manifested Mlle. Vigée's Father and Mother Death of Her Father A Friend of Her Girlhood Her Mother Remarries Mlle. Vigée's First Portrait of Note (Count Schouvaloff) Acquaintance with Mme. Geoffrin The Authoress's Puritanical Bringing up Male Sitters Attempt Flirtation Public Resorts of Paris Before the Revolution 3

CHAPTER II. UP THE LADDER OF FAME.

Tedious Sojourn in the Country Social Amenities in Paris Mlle. Vigée Becomes Mme. Lebrun Prognostications of Unhappy Wedlock On the Ladder of Fame Singularities of Oriental Taste Marie Antoinette as a Model Painting the Royal Family How Louis XVIII. Sang The Princess de Lamballe 16

CHAPTER III. WORK AND PLEASURE.

Impressions of Flanders The Authoress's Election to the French Royal Academy of Painting Her Devotion to Work Social Pleasures A Tale of an Artist's Extravagance Calonne and Calumny M. Lebrun Allows His Wife Naught Per Cent. of Her Earnings A Dramatic Constellation The Incomparable Mme. Dugazon 32

CHAPTER IV. EXILE.

A Gallic Maecenas Anecdote Concerning Beaumarchais The Duke de Nivernais Mme. Du Barry Sketched in Words And Painted in Oils Rumblings of the Revolution Mme. Lebrun's Fearsome Journey to Italy Renewed Artistic Activity at Rome Easter Sunday at St. Peter's Fascination of the Eternal City Vanities and Violences of Its People 47

CHAPTER V. NEAPOLITAN DAYS.

Naples A Sleepy Ambassadress The Remarkable Life of Lady Hamilton Being the Story of a Frivolous Flirt Fond of Beer More Royal Models Excursions to Posilippo Mlle. Lebrun Writes a Novel at the Age of Nine The Queen of Naples Sits to the Authoress The Wedding of the Doge of Venice with the Sea 63

CHAPTER VI. TURIN AND VIENNA.

A Queen Who Refused to Be Painted A Four Course Dinner of Frogs, Frogs, Frogs and Frogs Villeggiatura French Refugees at Turin Their Heartrending Plight Vienna News of the "Awful Murder" of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette Barefoot Princess Lichtenstein Inducements to Visit Russia Journey Thither via Dresden The Sistine Madonna 74

CHAPTER VII... Continue reading book >>




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