Clare Bucknell · Don’t wait to be asked_ Revolutionary Portraiture · LRB 2 March 2023

On the Paris Salon​ of 1822, the younger French artist Adrienne-Marie-Louise Grandpierre-Deverzy exhibited The Studio of Abel de Pujol, a portray of her trainer’s workshop. Greater than a dozen feminine trainees are proven going about their enterprise. A little bit group seems to be over de Pujol’s shoulder as he critiques a sketch; others make copies from work chosen for his or her bettering ethical content material; within the background, two girls are sketching from a ringleted, clothed feminine mannequin, concentrating on getting the folds of the material proper. Others aren’t working, or are solely pretending to. Two college students gossip on the left of the image, one taking part in along with her fan; behind de Pujol’s again, one other attracts again a curtain to look out on the avenue. The sort of sight the scholars is likely to be distracted by is usually recommended within the line-up of plaster male heads and figures on a excessive shelf. The buttocks and thighs of a muscular plaster torso, its entrance primly turned to face the wall, loom over the ladies beneath.

By the 1820s, ateliers specialising in feminine tutelage had been a fixture of the Paris artwork world. No less than thirty feminine artists made their debut on the Louvre’s Salon between 1822 and 1827; in 1824, 101 feminine exhibitors confirmed a document 237 works. In London the identical yr, on the Royal Academy’s annual exhibition, submissions by girls accounted for greater than 10 per cent of all of the works on show. (As Paris Spies-Gans notes at the start of her e book, works by feminine artists comprise lower than 5 per cent of the items on show in European and American galleries immediately.) Such unprecedented ranges of exercise and visibility, within the decade after the Napoleonic Wars, marked the end result of a interval of transformative alternative for British and French girls, who entered the general public sphere as professionals – not solely creating works, however submitting them for show, appraisal and buy.

In each nations, feminine artists exhibited as quickly as there have been venues obtainable for them to take action. For a lot of the 18th century, these had been restricted in quantity, comprising a handful of small, short-lived establishments. London’s first industrial showcase of latest artwork, organised in 1760 by a gaggle calling itself the Current Artists, included work by Katharine Learn and the longer term Academician Mary Moser; exhibitions held subsequently by two rival associations, the Free Society of Artists and the Society of Artists of Nice Britain, displayed bigger numbers of ladies. (Each teams allowed submissions in non-traditional media: needle-paintings, shellworks, waxworks and one thing referred to as ‘Sea-Weed, a brand new Invention’.) Competitors, in an artwork world discovering its toes, was a shaping drive. From 1804, feminine watercolourists might undergo the Society of Painters in Watercolours; those that felt excluded from its ranks flocked to the choice Related Artists in Watercolours, till it went bankrupt in 1812. In Ancien Régime Paris, small, insecure venues provided nearly all of girls artists their greatest hope of forging a public presence. A quantity exhibited on the al fresco Exposition de la Jeunesse, which was held yearly within the Place Dauphine, and regarded disreputable as a result of it concerned girls mixing outdoors in a public house (‘it’s murderous to encourage them like this,’ one journalist wrote). Others opted to undergo the Salon de la Correspondance, a non-public weekly showcase run by Mammès-Claude Pahin de la Blancherie, a self-aggrandising businessman who had a ‘tense’ relationship with the official arts administration. Exhibiting underneath Pahin’s aegis assured publicity however meant operating the danger of getting your work seized by his hungry collectors.

‘Adélaïde Lenoir’ (c.1796) by Marie-Geneviève Bouliard.

The rise of the Royal Academy and its French counterpart, the Académie Royale, two dominant, state-run establishments promising each status and industrial alternative, reworked the unsure arts panorama of the 18th century. In Britain, feminine artists submitted their work to the Academy from 1769, the yr of its first public exhibition. Within the 1790s, through the Revolutionary Wars, their numbers ballooned. Throughout the Channel, till the revolution, exhibiting on the Académie’s Salon was a privilege granted to solely a handful of established académiciennes, feminine painters grudgingly accepted on the premise of expertise that was not possible to disregard – and actually because they got here from well-connected artwork households. When, in 1791, as a part of a collection of democratising reforms, the Nationwide Meeting issued a decree allowing all artists, academician and non-academician, female and male, to submit their work, the change was dramatic. The primary open Salon came about in September, simply weeks after the decree; it accepted 22 feminine exhibitors, twenty of whom owed their visibility and industrial platform on to the revolutionary upheavals.

France’s new exhibiting artists hadn’t discovered to color in a fortnight. Many of the sixty works they confirmed in 1791 should have been full, or virtually full, earlier than the Nationwide Meeting’s decree, and to provide them they should have undergone formal coaching. Feminine college students weren’t admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts or the Royal Academy till the second half of the Nineteenth century, however alternatives to study their craft had been obtainable to them lengthy earlier than this. Eighteenth and early Nineteenth-century British girls usually obtained tuition at residence, mentored by fathers, brothers and, in some instances, moms. The familial setting wasn’t itself thought of gendered or home: many male exhibitors had been educated by relations, too, and the instruction each sexes obtained was publicly oriented, outlined by its ‘profoundly industrial bent’. All six of the Academician Dominic Serres’s youngsters, two sons and 4 daughters, turned exhibiting artists. Philip Reinagle educated each his sons and 4 of his daughters: Charlotte, Fanny, Harriet and Oriana Georgiana. (The painter and diarist Joseph Farington encountered ‘two or three’ of the Reinagle sisters in 1807 and famous their unsentimental method to copying the Outdated Masters. ‘They work very fast, & stated, “Image painted at some point; offered the subsequent; cash spent the third.”’) Coaching generally started early. Helena Beatson, Learn’s niece and pupil, offered her first narrative scenes on the age of eight on the 1771 Society of Artists present; by the point she was twelve, she was completed with exhibiting. The artist Ellen Sharples had her eight-year-old daughter, Rolinda, learn Catrou and Rouillé’s Roman Historical past (a six-volume work, initially in French), then use her creativeness to make ‘drawings of specific occasions’ within the method of a historical past painter. At 13, Rolinda declared herself set on ‘changing into an expert artist’, making her debut on the Royal Academy in 1820. Her double portrait The Artist and Her Mom (1816) reveals her halfway by a canvas, pausing to fulfill the viewer’s eye, whereas her mom leans in, proud and a bit proprietorial, to review her brushstrokes.

Some French feminine artists additionally discovered their craft at residence. Throughout the 1760s, the longer term académicienne Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun took drawing and pastel classes from her father, the society portraitist Louis Vigée; her modern Anne-Rosalie Bocquet, who died on the guillotine through the Terror, studied at a drawing college run by her mom. In later a long time, nonetheless, progressively smaller numbers of Parisian feminine exhibitors got here from inventive households. The bulk obtained extra-familial tuition, normally from established male painters resembling de Pujol, who took them on as college students of their ateliers.

Feminine pupils of Jacques-Louis David exhibited work at each Salon between 1791 and 1837: in a letter of 1787, defending the morality of his combined Louvre atelier to the humanities administration, David claimed that his girls college students, all ‘irreproachable’ of their conduct, had been contained in an area resembling a ‘jail’, fully separate from his male studio (in actuality, the set-up was extra porous). Artists took their instruction significantly. Jean-Baptiste Regnault, who, collectively along with his spouse, educated at the least 34 future feminine exhibitors within the Louvre from the 1790s, oversaw a tricky regime involving seven or eight hours of portrait and style portray a day. How aggressive these environments could possibly be is obvious from the letters of the portraitist Lizinka de Mirbel, who joined the studio of the miniaturist Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin as a young person in 1813, and gleefully tracked the failures of her rivals as an index of her personal success:

[Mme Lederick] tried to work for M. Augustin, nevertheless it was not possible for her, and she or he was pressured to offer it up … she will probably be much more mad when she is aware of that it’s I who replaces her, sure, my expensive pal, I’ll return to M. Augustin’s however it will likely be now not on a pupil’s footing. I’ll copy all of the portraits of princes that will probably be retouched and signed by Augustin … it should advance me amazingly.

Even for de Mirbel, reworking expertise right into a viable profession wasn’t simple. Succeeding commercially, for ladies artists in addition to males, required good cultivation of the correct consumer relationships, unabashed self-advertisement and, above all, the flexibility to court docket and juggle a number of commissions. (‘It realy cracks my mind to suppose how she is to get the images she has readily available finishd,’ the portraitist Anne Forbes’s mom wrote despairingly in 1772. ‘Fourteen she has in quantity nice and small.’) In London and Paris, cultivating a profitable exhibition presence was an avenue not solely to public recognition however, extra virtually, to revenue, because the Academy and Salon allowed artists to checklist their names and studio addresses in catalogues for purchasers. In Paris, from 1802, Empress Joséphine started shopping for works by girls artists instantly from the Salon; in 1804, Marie-Guillemine Benoist’s medal-winning submission precipitated ‘a flood of imperial commissions’, together with the doubtful honour of being chosento produce official photographs of Napoleon for the ‘cities of Ghent, Brest, Mans, Sarthe and Angers’. Typically, one of the simplest ways to catch a strong patron’s eye was to not wait to be requested. In 1785, Caroline Watson was appointed ‘Engraver to the Queen’, a brand new workplace, on the premise of getting designed and printed an unsolicited picture of Queen Charlotte’s daughter, Princess Mary.

Essentially the most commercially savvy feminine artists, together with the historical past painter Angelica Kauffman, exhibited photos with a watch to having them reproduced for the print market. In 1819, Rose Emma Drummond confirmed a portrait of Hannah Thatcher, ‘a younger woman born deaf and dumb’, as {the catalogue} entry defined gravely, ‘who was offered to Her late Majesty on buying the school of speech, and the sense of listening to’. Few topics, Drummond should have identified, might have been extra completely calibrated for middle-class print gross sales than this, with its mixture of royalty and sentiment.

For French artists​ particularly, a profitable follow might spell the distinction between survival and destroy. Jeanne-Marie Doucet de Suriny, who exhibited miniatures on the Louvre between 1791 and 1806, turned her household’s ‘sole help’ after her husband, a banker, misplaced all his cash in 1789 and was imprisoned thrice. (After the Bourbon Restoration in 1814, artists petitioned the royal administration for work on the premise of what had been ‘stripped’ from them or their dad and mom, usually violently, twenty years earlier.) Ellen Sharples, reflecting in her diary on the dramatic ‘reverses’ occasioned by the revolution – seen in Britain within the arrival of displaced exiles – defined that her hope in constructing a profession was to develop into ‘unbiased of the grins and frowns of fortune’, the ‘fluctuating & precarious nature of property’ in a world turned the other way up. However dropping the whole lot may occur by dangerous administration or dangerous luck in addition to political turmoil, ‘by thoughtlessness & extravagance … by the lack of pals, by fireplace, & different casualties’, in her gloomy checklist. Anne Jessop Beechey, the second spouse of the portraitist William Beechey, started to point out miniatures a yr into their marriage in 1795. ‘She proposed it as a useful resource in case of any accident occurring to him,’ Farington reported in his diary. ‘They’ve Six youngsters.’ The painter Amelia Noel, soliciting Farington to have one in all her photos positioned advantageously on the 1804 Academy exhibition, defined that she had been left with no alternative however to ask for assist. ‘Her fortune had been taken by Her Husband,’ Farington famous, who had run away and left her.

Narrative work, on this context, could possibly be self-reflexive, projections onto canvas of personal emotions of powerlessness or instability. Eugénie Servières’s Inès de Castro and Her Youngsters Throwing Themselves on the Ft of King Alphonso IV of Portugal (1822) was each a richly colored medieval historical past, and, as Spies-Gans suggests, a dramatisation of the subservient place Servières herself occupied: she had written repeatedly to the French authorities that yr, requesting an even bigger state-sponsored studio to permit her to tackle extra college students and supply for her household. On the Louvre and the Academy, large-scale narrative portray – a style persistently standard amongst girls exhibitors, regardless of the excessive (and historically masculine) painterly ambitions it connoted – was a car for the illustration of feminine considerations. Considered one of Maria Cosway’s first Academy items, Like Persistence on a Monument, Smiling at Grief (1781), took its inspiration from a Shakespearean simile – Viola’s description of her romantic distress in Twelfth Night time – and reworked it into an allegory of feminine struggling. Persistence, with palms clasped, seems to be down on the huddled, robed determine of Grief, shrinking into the nook of the composition. Kauffman’s classical histories, although usually extra orthodox of their material, foregrounded male deeds and exchanges however drew the attention elsewhere. Her Hector Upbraiding Paris for His Retreat from Battle (1770) reveals the 2 brothers gesticulating, remonstrating with each other, their our bodies forming a tough diagonal throughout the image aircraft – a line interrupted, or softened, by the determine of Helen, brightly lit and positioned between them, there to remind us what the story is admittedly about.

Some reviewers disliked this re-weighting. Based on Jacques-Philippe Voïart, the historical past painter Angélique Mongez’s prize-winning Alexander Mourning the Loss of life of Darius’s Spouse (1804) was a story failure, too centered on the feelings of ‘the accompanying girls’ and never sufficient on Alexander. Others had been keen to reward formidable narrative photos by girls, significantly these by specialists resembling Kauffman and Mongez, reserving their nastiest assaults for painters, resembling Moser, who had been higher identified for his or her work in ‘lesser’ genres and had dared to step out of line. (Considered one of Moser’s compositions from Tasso, in accordance with the Morning Put up, seemed like‘three drunken misshaped animals; dancing a Scotch reel’.) Practically all British and French commentators agreed that there have been subcategories of narrative to which feminine painters had been suited, and ones to which they weren’t. Constance Mayer’s classical scenes, resembling her softly lit The Sleep of Venus (1806), had been good expressions of female expertise, in accordance with the critic Charles-Paul Landon, whereas ‘formidable, shifting, and infrequently horrible conceptions’ wouldn’t have been. In Britain, Cosway was scolded for trying ‘grand or horrible’ narratives (these closest in aesthetic to the Burkean chic), as soon as being knowledgeable that her Altham Stood within the Wooden Alone, and Noticed a Ghost (1783), from Ossian, contained an ‘uninteresting’ fundamental character and a ‘Marble Ghost’. In Maria Costive (1786), an disagreeable modern caricature, she figures as a vacuous, snub-nosed lunatic in a Bedlam cell, hair untidy and eyes popping, surrounded by efforts within the narrative chic that type each the proof and substance of her insanity.

Historical past portray, the illustration of ‘nice deeds’ and full-scale (normally male) figures, required coaching within the contours of the human physique. Towards the long-held scholarly view that 18th and early Nineteenth-century girls had been barred (on ethical grounds) from statement of the nude determine, Spies-Gans argues that many did obtain life-drawing instruction of a roughly formal type, or discovered different methods of familiarising themselves with anatomy. Rolinda Sharples studied plaster casts in addition to volumes of John Bell’s Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Physique. Frances Reynolds, Joshua Reynolds’s youthful sister, defined to the Academician James Northcote that she did, out of propriety, ‘draw all her figures cloath’d’, besides infants, ‘which she usually paints from life’, Northcote reported, utilizing ‘some beggar girl’s youngster which is laid bare on a pillow’. Kauffman, whose massive classical scenes are proof of her mastery of the human type, could have studied statuary, plaster casts, different artists’ drawings or, as later hearsay had it, an obliging male mannequin, Charles Cranmer – who claimed that he visited her home to take a seat, along with her father current, chastely ‘expos[ing] his arms, shoulders and legs’ whereas conserving his genitals coated.

Jacques-Louis David was liable for a number of artists’ command of the determine. The Swiss painter Amélie Munier-Romilly, coaching in Paris, opted to practise figure-drawing within the sexless surrounds of the Louvre’s Salle des Antiques somewhat than be part of his studio, explaining that she feared drawing from nude fashions ‘in entrance of others’. The long run historical past painters Benoist and Mongez, two of David’s star college students, didn’t share her qualms. Between 1802 and 1827, Mongez exhibited 9 grand classical canvases involving large-scale nude figures. In Theseus and Pirithous, Cleaning the Land of Brigands (1806), the muscular male protagonists are offered in profile, a dangling scabbard helpfully – or cheekily – protecting the division between Pirithous’ buttocks. Her monumental Oath of the Seven towards Thebes (1826) goes a step additional: one nude warrior’s rear is absolutely on present, whereas one other determine is positioned going through the viewer, his suggestively positioned sword doing little to cowl (and nothing to divert consideration from) the shadowy space between his legs. Consumers had been delighted – Theseus and Pirithous went to the rich collector Prince Nikolai Yusupov for six thousand francs – however the critics had been frosty. ‘Austere males are shocked by the sort of research which all this information suggests to them,’ Jean-Baptiste Boutard wrote in 1806. One may hope, he stated, that ‘Madame Mongez’ had ‘studied and even executed her work extra after the vintage, and what are referred to as casts’ than from life; however her ‘unseemly’ familiarity with the male type urged in any other case.

Gendered rhetoric of this type, as Spies-Gans emphasises, solely tells us a lot. It’s evident from the artworks girls exhibited and offered within the interval that they’d better room to manoeuvre than the house circumscribed for them by male polemics. It’s true, too, that the nastier or extra thin-skinned vital outbursts had been usually reactions to feminine success, or to elevated visibility on the a part of girls artists extra typically, and may due to this fact be learn as indicators of progress. The Paintress, a caricature from 1772 that reveals a feminine portraitist (and Kauffman-lookalike) concentrating on capturing the options of a grinning, idiotic-looking urchin, appeared shortly after a sudden rise within the variety of named feminine portraitists exhibiting on the Royal Academy. Equally, Thomas Lawrence’s ‘nervousness’, twelve years into his tenure as an Academician, a couple of image of his being hung subsequent to a feminine artist’s work on the 1806 exhibition (he was ‘fretted’, Farington reported, ‘abt. two very small photos by Mrs Wheatley’), tells us nothing about girls’s artwork and one thing about Thomas Lawrence.

Nonetheless, male commentators’ efforts had the impact of creating feminine inventive success appear extra anomalous, unwarranted or freakish than it would in any other case have appeared. A caricature of 1782, A Smuggling Machine, or a Handy Cos(au)method for a Man in Miniature, makes plain the social anxieties a outstanding girl might spark. An enormous Maria Cosway seems to be down on her tiny husband, the Academician Richard Cosway, smuggled like a child within the voluminous folds of her gown (there have been sneers that Cosway had been carried by his spouse’s fame). John Wolcot, alias Peter Pindar, informed the Cosways precisely what he considered their unconventional marriage in a satire of 1782:

Fie, Cosway! I’m asham’d to say

Thou personal’st the title of R.A. –

I worry to rattling thee ’twas the satan’s sending –

Some trustworthy calling rapidly discover,

And bid thy spouse her kitchen thoughts,

Or shirts and shifts be making or be mending. If madam can not make a shirt,

Or mend, or from it wash the grime,

Higher than paint – the poet for thee feels –

Or take a sew up in thy stocking,

(Which for a spouse may be very stunning)

I pity the situation of thy heels.

Right here, the wrong-headedness of Maria Cosway’s inventive ambition reveals itself in a battle between private and non-private spheres – between the world of portray and exhibiting, and the wifely one in all ‘shirts and shifts’, washing and stitching. Different critics insisted that what was flawed was one thing extra explicitly sexual: they understood the blurring of conventional gender roles as an invite to feminine sexual licence, and the combined areas of artwork manufacturing as websites of seduction. ‘Publick follow of any artwork, and staring in males’s faces, may be very indelicate in a feminine,’ Johnson informed Boswell in 1775. The mere sight of Benoist’s The Farewell of Psyche to Her Household (1791) – which, by the way, contained not a single nude determine – was sufficient to ship the French painter Philippe Chéry into paroxysms, prompting a quasi-pornographic rant in regards to the plight of impressionable feminine artists, ‘uncovered to all seductions’, cavorting indiscriminately in a ‘mass’ of male college students and ‘fully bare’ studio fashions. (‘The fashions generally show in essentially the most obvious method the impression that the younger ladies have on them,’ Chéry declared. ‘I’ve seen them pressured to depart their pose and stand to 1 facet with the intention to let their nature regain its state of calm.’) In a French print of the 1820s, Atelier de Peinture, a fairly feminine artist is proven studiously copying the contours of a nude mannequin, who poses heroically, chest out and muscular legs splayed; behind her, her aged male tutor leans over, monocle pressed to his eye, squinting to see each element.

Some sorts of gendered prejudice translated into political realities. In 1814, Benoist was pressured to cease exhibiting when her husband was given a high-ranking place underneath the restored Louis XVIII: state dignitaries didn’t have wives who participated in public reveals. (Benoist, in a ‘wounded’ letter, referred to as this ‘a prejudice of society to which one should, in spite of everything, submit’.) Between the revolution and the restoration, by a collection of speedy, disorientating regime modifications, the social place that French girls of all courses occupied turned more and more precarious. In 1789, feminine members of the Ancien Régime elite discovered themselves in peril, and the networks of patronage they managed additionally got here underneath menace: Vigée Le Brun, a favorite of Marie-Antoinette, emigrated; her fellow académicienne, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, burned a royal fee she had begun. In 1791, the revolutionary authorities accorded single girls (restricted) property rights however not political ones; the Jacobins, violently against feminine civic participation, consolidated this place through the Terror. In 1804, the Napoleonic Code largely excluded married girls and moms from civic life, vesting all familial and public authority in husbands on the premise of ‘pure’ imperatives of dominance and subordination, safety and obedience.

Skilled survival, in these circumstances, required a unprecedented diploma of political flexibility, a capability each to face out and, the place mandatory, to shrink again. For the 1791 Salon, Vigée Le Brun, from the protection of Italy, despatched in three ‘innocuous’ portraits. Labille-Guiard made annual donations to the brand new state with the intention to exhibit her loyalty. On the peak of the Terror, solely the bravest artists dared produce – and the bravest purchasers fee – politically engaged works. A misplaced narrative by Fanni Ferrey, The Terrible Information (1796), depicting a spouse studying of ‘the merciless loss of life of her husband, the sufferer of a revolutionary trial’, couldn’t have been proven safely at earlier Salons. It was potential, after all, to characterize in paint types of company girls didn’t possess in actual life: Nanine Vallain’s Liberty (1794), a sober, unexceptionable feminine allegory filled with republican iconography, was hung within the Jacobin Membership headquarters, simply as girls had been barred from collaborating in revolutionary golf equipment themselves. Henriette Lorimier’s Jeanne of Navarre (1806), an outline of the girl who had dominated as Brittany’s regent between 1399 and 1403, confirmed feminine energy on the partitions of the Louvre through the repressive years following Napoleon’s reforms. Skilled longevity, nonetheless, meant generally portray what different individuals wished, somewhat than making statements. Pauline Auzou, a pupil of David’s, exhibited photographs of Marie-Louise, Napoleon’s Austrian second spouse, in 1810 and 1812, taking part in to the imperial regime by making an attempt to naturalise, in paint, a wedding of utmost political comfort. When the winds modified, her artwork modified with them: Auzou’s 1814 Salon submission included a style scene, One of many Home windows of Paris, the Day of His Majesty Louis XVIII’s Arrival, full with keen spectating youngsters and a outstanding fleur-de-lis.

Portraiture, the most well-liked style amongst exhibiting girls in each France and Britain all through the interval, had specific political valences within the revolutionary context. ‘Artists and audiences alike knew that portraits could possibly be political, narrative and subversive,’ Spies-Gans writes. Throughout the Ancien Régime, portraiture was already a style freighted with public which means, in a position to say some issues and never others. Vigée Le Brun’s 1783 submission, Marie-Antoinette in a Chemise Gown, needed to be faraway from the Salon for depicting the queen in clothes that seemed not solely insufficiently costly but in addition like an undergarment. After 1789, as Amy Freund has proven, portraiture turned each highly effective and ideologically charged – a style now not related to aristocratic vainness however with the self-defining ambitions of a physique of residents, former royal topics looking for to remake their id consistent with their new political authority. That this transformation was a matter of favor and tone in addition to topic is obvious from the politically astute canvases Labille-Guiard exhibited through the 1790s, together with, in 1791, seven portraits of varied deputies to the Nationwide Meeting. In distinction to her Ancien Régime depictions of the king’s aunts (neoclassical, opulent, extremely colored), the revolutionary portraits are cerebral, uncluttered and muted in tone. Their topics meet the viewer’s eye with a stage gaze.

The vast majority of girls artists who exhibited on the Salon within the revolutionary interval had by no means earlier than proven their work in public. Throughout the 1790s and early 1800s, a number of of them submitted self-portraits or portraits of different girls artists, presenting, implicitly, an concept of the feminine painter as each a topic for portraiture and an expert in her personal proper. Marie-Denise Villers’s Charlotte du Val d’Ognes, and Lorimier’s self-portrait, Portrait of the Artist, each exhibited in 1801, present their topics in half-profile, turned in direction of the viewer, their look of getting been caught sketching unawares considerably belied by the fragile, impractical empire-line clothes they put on. Marie-Geneviève Bouliard’s Adélaïde Lenoir (c.1796), an intimate depiction of Lenoir, a portraitist who exhibited on the Salon for over twenty years, is extra radical: proven in her painter’s smock, her hair falling round her ears, Lenoir is clearly at work, her palette already daubed with smudges of color. She stares straight out of the image, her gaze greater than a bit difficult: as if she had been the painter, not the topic.