Sunday, March 30, 2014


In the fall of 2010, I read a wonderful article published in Women in The Arts (publication of the National Museum of Women in the Arts)  written by their chief curator, Jordana Pomeroy.  The article was entitled "A Series of Fortunate Decisions, Adelaide Labille-Guiard's Portrait of an Unknown Sitter".  It was about a discovery that Lieutenant Dennis and Kathleen Melander made while living in a rented house.  In 1958 while cleaning their living quarters, they found a burlap bag, in the flue, containing a small painting of an intriguing woman. The painting was signed with the letter "G".  Fate stepped in and their landlord told them to keep the "anonymous" work of art.  Years later, the couple's children decided to present the painting to the Smithsonian, where Dr. Philip Conisbee, curator of European paintings at the National Gallery of Art, attributed it to Adelaide Labille-Guiard.  It was suggested that the painting would thrive at the NMWA's galleries.  So this painting, found a home, for some period of time at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, a great reason to visit the museum.
It is always interesting to discover and "meet" the artists we admire via the work in various museums across the world.  Since the focus of this blog post is Adelaide Labille-Guiard, here is a link to a collection of her work found in museums:

"Madame Adelaide" by Adelaide Labille-Guiard, 1787, Oil on Canvas, Chateaux de Versailles et de Trianon, France

The above painting by Labille-Guiard shows Madame Adelaide (daughter of Louis the XV)
next to an easel that displays carved images of her father- the late King, the  late Queen and the late Dauphin (her brother).  The frieze at the top shows a scene of her and sister Madame Victoire entering the room as her father, King Louis XV lies dying in bed of smallpox.  This painting was a tremendous success and Labille-Guiard was commissioned by Madame Adelaide to paint three large scale autographed reproductions, to be given as gifts.  One of these autographed copies hangs in The Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona.;jsessionid=C126CD2DABCB014E4BD203F41883AF64?t:state:flow=2eec76ab-688b-4e36-9fd2-6004ac2c3eec

Many Thanks to the National Museum of Women in the Arts and Jordana Pomeroy

A wonderful resource,**"ADELAIDE LABILLE-GUIARD" - ARTIST IN THE AGE OF REVOLUTION" by Laura Auricchio**

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