Marie Antoinette’s Personal Portraitist and the Unlikely Painting of an Indian Ambassador

New York | 30 January

This January, Sotheby’s celebrated trailblazing female artists from the 16th through the 19th century with The Female Triumphant, a group of masterworks offered across our Masters Week sales. In spite of institutional obstacles, talented women like Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, Fede Galizia, and Elizabeth Gardner Bouguereau paved the way for future generations of artists everywhere. In this episode of Masterworks: Expert Voices, Old Master Paintings Specialist Calvine Harvey recounts the story of how Vigée Le Brun, the personal painter to Queen Marie Antoinette, used her royal connections to paint a striking portrait a visiting Indian ambassador. Painted in 1788, Vigée Le Brun’s monumental Portrait of Muhammad Dervish Khan set a new auction record for the artist when it achieve $7.2 million in Sotheby's Master Paintings Evening Sale. (30 January | New York)

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