L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Anne Vallayer-Coster

Anne Vallayer-Coster (21 December 1744, Paris – 28 February 1818, Paris), French artist specializing in floral paintings and still lifes. Having displayed great talent at an early age, she was admitted to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1770, at the age of twenty-six, only one of four women accepted into the Académie prior to the French Revolution.

Anne Vallayer-Coster, by Alexander Roslin, 1784.

In the academic hierarchy, the still life was considered one of the lesser art forms, but Vallayer-Coster's skill was so great that she attracted the interest of collectors and the great respect of other artists. She also appears to have been quite adept at politics, and showed great skill in negotiating the inherent difficulties of being a woman in the Arts. In 1775, she began to show the paintings of flowers for which she is best known, and came under the patronage of Marie Antoinette four years later. Other royal patronage followed. In 1781, with pressure from the queen, Vallayer-Coster was allowed space to live and work in the Louvre, a situation extremely unusual for a woman at the time. Soon after - at Versailles, in the presence of the queen - she made an advantageous marriage, ascending to the lower ranks of the nobility.

During the Revolution, because of her royal connections and noble status, her situation became quite difficult, personally, and though she weathered the Terror, her career never recovered.

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