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Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

            Portrait of Theresa, Countess Kinsky by Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun is a portrait painting made in 1793. The painting is large-scale and shows the full length standing figure of Theresa Kinsky. The figure's pose is not formal, and yet not stiff, but shows a very leisurely pose. The composition is centralized having the figure set in the middle of the piece. The figure becomes one of two strong verticals that define the picture. The figure is as solid as the tree to her right. The scale of the portrait painting is life-size, having the figure about the same size as an average person. The cropping of the image is set to show the entire figure from the knees and up. The framing of the portrait is also important because it gives the audience a sense of a window, gazing at a beautiful figure. This portrait painting uses highly saturated colors. The painting is very modeled where the figure looks life like, having clear shadows and contour lines. The figure appears three dimensional because of use of this illusionistic technique. The paint application is very smooth. The blue dress appears to look like a shiny cloth, meaning that paint was layered thickly, and was applied carefully. It appears as if there are no traces of brush strokes throughout the entire piece. The only painterly part of the painting is looking closely at the background. The background is not considered to be an impressionistic style of painting, but is a washed out, blurry landscape. This was used to help make the foreground jump out. The lighting of the piece has a spotlight lighting directly on the centralize figure. Vigée-Lebrun uses highlights of colors such as white, light yellow and light blue to create this lighting affect. The painting has an academic style of painting where all figures a very modeled, and all senses of brush applications are smoothed out. The medium used is oil on canvas.

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