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Customer Review

on October 9, 1997
Wandering goggle-eyed through Washington's National Gallery of art, I was arrested by the most lively, lush, *real*, and striking depiction of women in the whole gallery. Imagine my delight upon inspecting the plaque and discovering the artist was one of us! No wonder her subjects -- two rich French court ladies enjoying an afternoon in the garden with their children -- were not *objects*, as were the drab, blurred, unhappy-looking women in most male painter's work. Researching the artist, Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, whom I had never heard of (but of course -- she was a *woman* artist!) I discovered Mary Sheriff had just published a book about her. I waited for the paperback and have ordered it, and can't wait to find out more. From what I can tell she was an extremely uppity chick, the best kind, and a survivor (usually a contradiction in terms in Elisabeth's day: she managed to scram out of France with her head and her money intact as the Revolution descended, although her buddy and patron Marie Antoinette fared less well, as we know.) Sounds like a great costume drama for Jane Campion, starring a strong, knowing, and savvy personality. Holly Hunter, Judy Davis have the strength. Elizabeth Shue has the look. Add Vigee-Lebrun to your collection of women who prevailed against the odds. Retrieve her from obscurity. Most of all: look at her work!
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