Saturday, June 09, 2007

Marie-Guillemine Benoist's Beautiful Portrait

" Portrait of a Negress" 1800 by Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Louvre
"The Cat's Passenger" 1992 oil painting by Amy Crehore
Marie-Guillemine Benoist, born Marie-Guillemine de Laville-Leroux (1768-1826), was a French neoclassical painter. In 1800, she exhibited "Portrait of a Negress" in the Salon de Paris. Six years previously, slavery had been abolished, and this image became a symbol for women's emancipation and black people's rights. This picture was acquired by Louis XVIII for France in 1818. The bottom painting I did back in 1992 and I used the "Portrait of a Negress" as a reference for my little women perched on the back of a large house cat. Don't ask me what it means. It's surreal...or maybe it's folk art. Just a mood I was in at the time. But, I do love Marie's painting. It's a masterpiece!
Read more here: Marie-Guillemine Benoist
(thanks to for reminding me of Marie)

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