If you think of the Louvre, the most famous painting of the world immediately comes to mind. That of Lisa Gherardini by Leonardo. But did you know the Louvre also has one room dedicated to women artists of the 18th century?
We’ll question the status of the Louvre as the model of the universal museum born from equalitarian ideals by looking at masterpieces (Venus de Milo, The Virgin Mary, Delacroix’s Lady Liberty) to reconsider typical canons of beauty in Western history. Our point will be informed by very different working conditions for male and female artists, before and after the foundation of the Academy (1648). You will be introduced to the stars of women painters, from self-promotional Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun (official portraitist of Marie-Antoinette), to Marie-Guillemine Benoist who unsettled the French public with Portrait of a Black Woman.
Itinerary: Greek rooms of antiques, Square Salon, Grande Galerie (Italian Renaissance), Mollien rooms, second floor of French paintings. If time allows it, we might go to the Richelieu wing to see Judith Leyster’s Merry Company and Elise Bruyère’s flowers.