Portrait painter Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun

Thanks to Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun exhibition in Paris, I have discovered the work of this artist. Before, I mainly knew her portraits of Queen Marie-Antoinette.


Self Portrait with Cerise Ribbon circa 1782 by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun


Self Portrait with Cerise Ribbon circa 1782 (click the pictures to enlarge)

Her life could have been the subject of a novel. Her father was a pastellist and she started drawing as she was very young. She painted many portraits and finally was recommended to French queen Marie-Antoinette. She soon became Marie-Antoinette official painter.


Marie-Antoinette en chemise vers 1783 par Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun


Marie-Antoinette wearing a nightshirt circa 1783. This painting was criticized because people found disrespectful to show the queen wearing a nightgown.


Marie-Joséphine Louise de Savoie, , Countess of Provence in a nightdress in 1782 by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun


Marie-Joséphine Louise de Savoie, Countess of Provence and King Louis XVI’s sister-in-law in 1782 (she was wearing a nightdress too)

During the French Revolution broke out, being close to Marie-Antoinette became risky. Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun fled France with her daughter and travelled through Europe. Her reputation and her social skills helped her to fit in different European courts. She earned a living painting high society and celebrities. In her paintings, I found people who were also in history books.

Vigée Le Brun revealed the personality of her models by playing with poses, backgrounds, she represents some characters with a rose, a book or a a sheet of music. But her paintings have in common a form of softness.


Isabella Teoto chi Marini in 1792 by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun


Isabella Teoto chi Marini in 1792. This painting was for Dominique Vivant Denon, Isabella’s lover.


Princess Karoline Felicitas Engelberte von und zu Liechtenstein in 1793 by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun


Princesse Karoline Felicitas Engelberte von und zu Liechtenstein in 1793

At that time, painting replaced photography. Portraits were also used to become better known and to look good. And Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun was a master in the art of photoshopping making her models look beautiful.

In addition to portraits, Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun painted a lot of family paintings and child portraits.


Jeanne Julie Louise Le Brun looking at herself in a mirror in 1787 by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun


Jeanne Julie Louise Le Brun looking at herself in a mirror in 1787. This painting shows Vigée Le Brun dear daughter.


Alexandrine Emilie Brongniart in 1788 by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun


Alexandrine Emilie Brongniart in 1788

What is interesting too is the evolution of hairstyles and outfits as fashions was changing, such as those two portraits that were painted 30 years apart.


Comtesse de la Châtre circa 1789 by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun


Comtesse de la Châtre circa 1789


Tatiana Borssovna Potemkina circa 1820 by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun


Tatiana Borssovna Potemkina circa 1820

Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun wished she were a history painter, the most prestigious category at the time, and she would paint historical and mythological scenes but moral used to forbid women to paint naked men. It didn’t prevent her from making paintings inspired by Mythology such as this painting of Lady Hamilton as a bacchante.


Lady Hamilton as a bacchante dancing in front of Vesuvius in 1792 by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun


Lady Hamilton as a bacchante dancing in front of Vesuvius in 1792

Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun was allowed to come back to France by Napoléon. She painted portraits and drew pastel landscapes until an advanced age.

For more information:

* Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun exhibition in Paris website

* You can still attend Vigée Le Brun exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Canada until September 11, 2016

Version française

May 2016 favorites

Here are my May 2016 favorites:

* Jourdan Dunn’s floral dress by Ralph & Russo at Cannes Film Festival


Jourdan Dunn wearing a floral dress by Ralph & Russo at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

* French Sustainable Fashion calendar

This is a facebook group with a list of Sustainable Fashion events (fashion shows, pop up stores, lectures…) in France

* Dressing Responsable pop up store in Paris in June

I you go to Paris, this is an opportunity to discover some edgy French Ethical Fashion brands.

* A ‘drawinterview’ with Ceri from Style Eyes blog


Until next time!

Version française

Drawinterview with Ceri from Style Eyes blog

Style Eyes is one of the first Ethical Fashion blogs I followed. I love that this personal style blog is written by a person who stays authentic and whose outfits are within reach. Ceri shares her work wear or festival-goer looks and also her sustainable fashion discoveries.

I have drawn Ceri wearing her favorite outfit and I have asked her a few fashion questions.

drawing of Ceri from Style Eyes blog wearing her favorite outfit


Who are you?

I am Ceri, Mummy, Digital marketer, blogger and ethical fashion advocate.


Could you tell me the story of your outfit?

My hat is by pachacuti. It is one of my favourite accessories but for one reason or another, one that I don’t get the chance to wear as often as I would like. It is made by artisans for Pachacuti, a Fair Trade brand which not only makes lovely hats but also creates opportunities for those that have be economically disadvantaged by the trading system. My hat is made in a family run workshop in Northern Equador.

My vest top is made from Fairtrade cotton helping to ensure a better deal for cotton farmers.

The jacket was originally a vintage dressing gown that I found in a second hand shop and shortened to create a jacket and the jeans were from a charity shop both alternatives to buying new.

The necklace and ring are from a brand called Made UK another Fair Trade brand creating handmade accessories in Kenya.


What are your favorite fashion shops/brands?

All of my favourite shops combine style with sustainability and ethics. I buy lots of vintage and second hand from Oxfam’s online shop and Etsy. I also love People Tree, Annie Greenabelle, SkunkFunk, Braintree and Bibico.


Do you have tips to dress more ethically on a budget?

I think buying from charity shops is definitely the best way to shop ethically on a a budget. Not only do you save clothes from landfill and reduce your impact on the world by not buying new, but you also contribute towards a very worthwhile charity.


Thank you Ceri!

Version française

April 2016 favorites

Here are my few April 2016 favorites:

* Microfiber dishcloths

I use microfibers a lot: microfiber dust cloths, floor cloths or even towels. I have completed my collection with some microfiber dishcloths. Normally microfibers last a long time so this is a more economical solution and it produces less waste than classic sponge cloths.


drawing of a man cleaning a table with a microfiber dishcloth

* 2016 Fashion Revolution

* Where Is All the Sustainable and Ethical Plus-Sized Fashion?

Version française

2016 Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution which takes place from 18 to 24 April is an opportunity to ask brands more information on working conditions in the factories that make our clothes. This year, I have asked French Ethical Fashion brand Ekyog who made my ‘Hoki’ T-shirt.

drawing of a woman wearing a coral T-shirt worn inside out and grey trousers by Ekyog for Fashion Revolution

A Hoki T-shirt worn inside out and grey Haby trousers by Ekyog

Here is their reply:

“The HOKI t-shirt was made in Izmir, Turkey, in a workshop we have been working with for many years.

For 20 years, the company has been developping and making items such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, nightgowns, tracksuits etc. The company, that was created in 1992, is working exclusively for exportation. It’s a small factory with 25 employees.

It’s also GOTS (GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARDS) certified. GOTS is an international standard for textiles made from organic fibres. It regulates production environmental aspects but also social and organisational aspects (documentation preservation, implementation of an environmental policy…)

During our audit, we have noticed that the company is working on its employees well-being.

Here are some examples of what managers take charge of:

– Additional paid leave (in addition to legislation), sickness leave, maternity leave, sick child leave…

– Access to training

– Taking care of transportation, meals, tea & coffee

– Support the primary schooling of children near the production sites

The organic cotton comes from Turkey too, it’s knitted and dyed in a town close to Izmir.”

That is what I call a complete reply. Once a gain, a small brand show that it’s possible to be transparent whith its clients and to control the supply chain. It’s all the more important when you know that Syrian children are illegally working in some clothing factories in Turkey.

You can get involved in Fashion Revolution too. Here is how:

1. Take a picture of yourself with a clothing label visible

2. Post your picture on social medias with the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes

3. Tag the brand you’re wearing to ask them who made this item of clothing

For more information:
Fashion Revolution website
Ekyog website (in French)

Version française

March 2016 favorites

Here are my March 2016 favorites:

* Fashion Revolution 2016

This year, Fashion Revolution will last one week from 18 to 24 April to transform the fashion industry into a force for good.

* A series of skylines watercolors by Hélène from Taches et couleurs blog

Hélène has started a series of watercolors showing the skylines of cities such as Paris, London, La Défense (in Paris region) or Shanghai.


a watercolor of Shanghai skyline by Hélène Hurot


Shanghai (c) Hélène Hurot

* Can We Actually Afford To Shop Ethically ?

* The blue dress worn by Manon from Happy New Green blog


drawing inspired by a picture of Manon from Happy New Green blog wearing a Carven blue dress


drawing inspired by a picture of Manon wearing a Carven blue dress

* A seaview in the south of Malta


A seaview in the south of Malta

* Facade visual (in)consistency in Malta

Version française

Facade visual (in)consistency in Malta

In Malta, I have noticed that some owners’ associations don’t attach a lot of importance to the visual consistency of the facade.


an apartment building with mismatched balconies in Malta


Can you find two identical balconies in this building? (click the pictures to enlarge)


unmatching doorbells in Malta


Each one has its own doorbell model


an apartment block with mismatched balconies in Malta


More mismatched balconies (Note that the third floor balcony doesn’t even have a railing!)

Those odd balconies, windows or doorbells could offend your aesthetic sense if you’re more used to symmetry.


apartment buildings with multicoloured shutters and enclosed balconies in Valletta, Malta


Multicoloured shutters and enclosed balconies in Valletta

At the same time, this cacophony is somewhat picturesque. And that way you avoid fighting with the neighbours about the choice of the color when the shutters need to be painted.


apartment buildings with multicoloured shutters and enclosed balconies in Valletta, Malta

Version française

February 2016 favorites

Here are my February 2016 favorites (with a lot of Fashion):

* What is a capsule wardrobe

* A yarn necklace spotted at Missoni fashion show


A yarn necklace spotted at Missoni fall-winter 2016-2017 fashion show


photo : Susanna Lau

* Jewelry at Valentino Couture Fashion Show

* My favourite outfits at the 2016 Oscars and Cesars:

* V10 sneakers by Veja


Veja V10 sneakers. black graphite

This new model was launched to celebrate Veja 10 year anniversary. The V10 sneakers come black, white or tricoloured but I prefer the black ones.

* Meditation for Beginners: 20 Practical Tips for Understanding the Mind

Version française

2016 Oscars & Cesars: my favourite outfits

Last weekend took place the Oscars and the Césars (the French Academy Awards). It was an opportunity to spot beautiful eveningwear, even if I regret the lack of risk of red carpet fashion.

My favorite outfit at the Césars is a long black dress with openwork patterns that was worn by an unindentified woman.

drawing of a woman wearing a long black dress with openwork patterns at the 2016 Cesars

I found Mélanie Laurent very chic in a long black strapless gown by Saint Laurent. The actress and director was here for ‘Demain’ (Tomorrow in English) her documentary on Ecology.

drawing of Mélanie Laurent wearing a long black strapless gown by Saint Laurent at the 2016 Cesars

Incidentally Ecology was quite present at this year’s awards ceremonies: ‘Demain’ won the best documentary award at the Césars and Leonardo DiCaprio’s acceptance speech called for action on climate change.

More Ecology on the red carpet with Red Carpet Green Dress project for which actress Sophie Turner wore a crepe long grey dress ethically made by Galvan.

drawing of Sophie Turner wearing a crepe long grey dress ethically made by Galvan at the 2016 Academy Awards

Version française