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ID number:  BIRBI-80.1
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Vigée-Lebrun, Élisabeth Louise (1755-1842)
Title / Object name:  Portrait of Countess Golovina
Object type:  Painting
Culture:  French
Date made:  between 1797/1800
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  83.5 x 66.7 cm
Provenance:  Elisabeth Golovine (1801-1867), the sitter's daughter; by descent, Leonie Wanda Potocka (1821-1893); by descent, Count Charles Lanckoronski (1848-1933), Vienna; Lanckoronski, 1978; Heim Gallery, P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., and Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox; Purchased from Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox in 1980.

Countess Golovina sweeps up her shawl and looks at us with startling candour. Vigee-Lebrun met and befriended Varvara Nikolaevna Golovina (1766 - 1821) in Russia in the late 1790s during the artist’s exile from revolutionary France. She described Golovina as a ‘charming woman’ who was a talented musician and artist, and a lover of literature. The spontaneous and informal pose conveys Golovina’s lively intelligence and a sympathetic engagement between the two women. The compact octagonal format and the simplest setting - a diagonal shaft of light - reinforce the portrait’s intimacy.

Notes:  Exhibited: 'Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun 1755-1842', Kimbell Art Museum, Forth Worth, USA, 05 June 1982 - 08 August 1982, no. 46; 'Art Treasures of England', Royal Academy, London, 1998, no. 332; 'Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun', Grand Palais, Paris, Met, NYC, and National Gallery of Canada, Ottowa, 21 September 2015 - 12 September 2016

1 Related People

Vigée-Lebrun, Élisabeth Louise

1 Related Publications

Elisabeth Louise Vigée - Lebrun 1755 - 1842
Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum

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