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Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

Artist 185

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

Advocate for Women Artists

Portrait Painter.

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (born 1749) was a French artist who specialized in painting. She was also known as Adélaïde Labille-Guiard des Vertus, and was both a French miniaturist and portrait painter.

She was an advocate for women to receive the same opportunities as men to become great painters. Labille-Guiard was one of the first women to become a member of the Royal Academy and was the first female artist to receive permission to set up a studio for her students at the Louvre.

As well as playing a hand in Marie-Gabrielle Capet’s career, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard was a successful portraitist in her own right. Male artists were so threatened by Labille-Guiard and other female artists working at the time that they would invent rivals for them and spread rumors alluding to sexual misconduct.

Labille-Guiard was strong and kept fighting for her right to create art and actively supported other female artists to do the same.

The artist managed to prove her critics wrong and she was admitted to the Académie Royale, where she exhibited her works and became Peintre des Mesdames (Painter of the Ladies), which meant she was a painter to the king’s aunts.

Labille-Guiard often did not fit comfortably within the boundaries of feminine virtue in the 18th century.


n order to appeal to a wide variety of viewers including upper-class men and women, she often incorporated recent fashions into her paintings which allowed her to showcase her artistic ability.

The artist was good at rendering details, such as showing the luxury folds and layers of the complex skirts that were in fashion for her this time. However, often she painted with a twist such as having women face directly at the viewer or with a low neckline, which was an uncommon practice in the 18th century when portraying women.

You could argue it’s just portraits but so is the Mona Lisa. We have been taught to revere some artists over others and it’s important to question why.

Sources Consulted:…/Ad%C3%A9la%C3%AFde_Labille-Gui…


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