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Marie Joséphine Charlotte du Val d'Ognes by Marie Denise Villers
Marie Joséphine Charlotte du Val d'Ognes by Marie Denise Villers

Marie Joséphine Charlotte du Val d'Ognes, 1801

Marie Denise Villers

This engaging image of a young girl drawing was at first attributed to a famous male painter, but it’s been recently identified as a female artist’s work. The painter, Villers, combines sensuously curving lines and dramatic backlighting with a subject considered appropriate to her gender. The young girl clearly has some attitude, but what does her expression say? Is she annoyed at being interrupted at her work? Frustrated with her drawing in progress? Whatever the emotion being depicted, both artist and subject attest to the fact that women were beginning to be among the most sought-after artists in Paris at this time.

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Credit
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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