Artwork Title: The Atelier of Madame Vincent - Artist Name: Marie-Gabrielle CapetArtwork Title: The Atelier of Madame Vincent - Artist Name: Marie-Gabrielle Capet

The Atelier of Madame Vincent, 1808

Marie-Gabrielle Capet

Madame Vincent is Adelaide-Labille Guiard--her name was adjusted after marriage to Francois-Andre Vincent. Capet painted this after Labille-Guiard's demise, this painting shows Labille-Guiard painting Joseph-Marie Vien, once a powerful director of the French Royal Academy in Rome, then later, Napoleon Bonaparte appointed him a Senator. ( Among the followers of Labille-Guiard, one of them, Marie-Gabrielle Capet, appropriated for herself in a remarkable way this clannish strategy and even worked on her performative identity on three different levels, as may interestingly be observed in a painting [The Atelier of Madame Vincent] that served as a manifesto.... One notes, first of all, the identity of the woman artist, whose legitimacy here is based on family ties (one sees in the picture the Vien couple, both of whom were painters; the same configuration for the Vincents, who are also represented, and about whom it is also known that they had virtually adopted Marie-Gabrielle Capet, author of the picture in which she also appears). This legitimation of the creative activity of women by their subordination to the chieftainship of their husband (Madame Vien and Madame Vincent were among the rare women painters to have entered into the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture under the Ancien Régime) reveals a quite relative emancipation of these women as artists. Next, the picture affirms a political-aesthetic identity for these personalities and their direct connection with the stylistic movement to renovate history painting that had been inaugurated by the “regenerator” of the French School, Joseph-Marie Vien, portrayed here as a senator. Now, Vien was also the master of David who, for his part, and unlike the royalist Vincent, embraced the ideals of the Revolution and actively participated in its institutions, including those under the Terror. Finally, Capet forces one to reflect on gender in the circa 1800 arts community via the presence of three women artists found in his imaginary studio that differs conspicuously from the representation of the exclusively male Davidian clan (which can be seen gathered together in the society salon of Isabey, as painted by Boilly in 1798; ...). (


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