The Salon Advent Calendar: Day Eight

Marie-Victoire Lemoine was born into an artistic family; two of her three siblings were also painters. Lemoine herself seems to have led an uneventful life, with not a great deal of detail available about her. She studied with Ménageot and probably Vigée Le Brun - her style certainly seems closer to the latter. She exhibited in the Paris salon five times despite her seclusion. This painting, Atelier of A Painter, was in her first in 1796. It depicts a teacher with her up in sitting at her feet, and I t has been suggested the teacher is Vigée-LeBrun herself, making the pupil Lemoine. The layers within the painting draw the gaze; the unfinished canvas, the copy in the hands of the pupil, the concentration on her face. She seems unaware of herself being the object of an artwork, but her teacher is much more self conscious.

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Francesca LeBrun’s family also produced several musicians. She studied with her cellist father, debuting as a singer at 17. Charles Burney was at the performance; he wrote, "(her) voice and execution are brilliant...she is now a very engaging, agreeable performer, and promises still greater things in (the) future.” LeBrun had an extremely successful singing career throughout Europe, not only in opera, but also for her ability to fit vocal parts to symphonies.she published twelve piano sonatas with violin  bbligato. This is the second, in F major, phiano only. The clarity of the writing is demanding of the performer - everything from harmony to pianism is on display here.