Portrait of Princess Belozersky, Élisabeth Vigée-LeBrun
In the collection of The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; full image here. There is also a zoomable version on the Google Art Project that goes a bit more high resolution.
Another beautiful portrait by the brilliant 18th century French painter Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Le Brun.
The description from the museum acknowledges that Vigée-LeBrun flattered her sitters (to my eye, often in a most delightful way), but I have to disagree with their assessment that her tendency for flattery is evident in this portrait.
Maybe they know something about the princess’s actual appearance form other portraits of which I’m unaware, but I see little evidence here of the painter’s usual tendency to maker her sitters look younger with exaggeratedly rosy cheeks, creamy complexions and super radiant vitality.
Perhaps it’s because the subject is actually young and doesn’t need to be age regressed with the virtual cosmetics of the painter’s brush, but I find this painting more straightforward and naturalistic than those of Vigée-LeBrun’s older subjects.
I love the painterly touches around the eyes, nose and lips, and the impasto highlights on the earring.