Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat: Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun

Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat: Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun

Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun in a Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat is a 1782 painting by French artist Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun. It is located in the National Gallery in London, England.

This picture uses a Baroque Flemish Peter-Paul Rubens portrait titled ‘Portrait of Susanna Lunden’ (Le Chapeau de Paille The Straw Hat) which was created 150 years earlier as its inspiration.

The artist portrays herself as a confident independent painter occupying a huge part of the picture space. Vigée-Lebrun said of this work that she wanted to observe and capture the varying light effects of direct sunlight and daylight. The picture belongs to a tradition of female artists depicting themselves as the personification of painting itself, a tradition stretching back at least as far as Artemisia Gentileschi’s Self-Portrait as a Lute Player from the 16th century.

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