• Gabie

Revealing My Reproduction of the Portrait La Negresse by Marie-Guillemine Benoist

WARNING: This blog post contains images of neoclassical art where partial nudity is portrayed. Viewer discretion is advised.

WARNING: This blog post contains images of neoclassical art where partial nudity is portrayed. Viewer discretion is advised.

Art is one of the human creations that brings me deep joy. I could spend hours in museums such as The MET. While I love all sorts of art, I am particularly drawn to neoclassic pieces. I fell in love with a piece called La Negresse by Marie-Guillemine Benoist and since the original sits in the Louvre in Paris, France (and is way out of my budget range) I had the painting reproduced. The reproduction sits beautifully in my reading nook and lends a stoic elegance to reading and tea time.

Tap 'play' to learn a little more about the artist, to learn what the painting meant for viewers in 1800 and what the painting means to me; I also show you the painting and then let you know if I recommend the company that reproduced the portrait for me.

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Marie-Guillemine Benoist, her wedded name, was born as Marie-Guillemine de Laville-Leroux in Paris, France on December 18th, 1768 into a middle class family. She began her training as an artist under Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun and in 1786 she entered Jacques-Louis David's atelier.

Marie-Guillemine Benoist self portrait

In 1791, Benoist exhibited for the first time in Salon de Paris and during this period she also released a body of work entitled L'Innocence entre la vertu et le vice where she portrayed vice as a man, when it was traditionally represented by a woman, revealing her sensitivity to the injustices women faced and her desire to interpret this in her art.

"Her work, reflecting the influence of Jacques-Louis David, tended increasingly toward history painting by 1795. In 1800, she exhibited Portrait d'une négresse (as of 2019 renamed "Portrait to Madeleine"[2]) in the Salon. Six years previously, slavery had been abolished, and this image became a symbol for women's emancipation and black people's rights. The picture was acquired by Louis XVIII for France in 1818." (Wikipedia.org)

Marie-Guillemine Benoist died on October 8, 1826 at the young age of 57 but not before completing 11 bodies of work and making a name for herself in the neoclassic genre.



La Negresse, scholarly named The Portrait of Madeleine