She was a very level-headed woman, an advocate for Europe before it was in fashion. With her numerous portraits, she met success both in Paris and in Versailles (whre she sang in duos with Marie-Antoinette), in London (where Reynolds was extatic about her painting), in Switzerland and in Saint- Petersburg, where she was made a member of the Academy. While the 250th anniversary of her birthday was just celebrated (1755), her souvenirs so fresh and natural reappear in a very comfortable pocket format in a box. We run into all the beautiful people of the time - dancers, comedians, crowned heads - wrapped in the turmoil of the Revolution and the Restoration period. The militant sub-title (a feminist edition) was justified in 1983 when the aim was to republish all the memories generally truncated by the previous compilers.
• Souvenirs by Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, a feminist edition by Claudine Herrmann, des femmes/Antoinette Fouque, two boxed volumes, 2006, ISBN : 2-7210-0255-4, 25 €
• Also to read, an illustrated version: Mémoires d’une portraitste, introduction by Jean-Pierre Cuzin, Scala publishers, 2006, illustrated, ISBN : 2-86656-168-6, 25 €
Review published in the newsletter #8 - from 15 June 2006 to 21 June 2006