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Shown from the shins up, two elegantly dressed women and two young boys, all with light skin, sit together on a bench in front of a stone balustrade with a forest landscape beyond in this horizontal portrait painting. The people are brightly lit from our left but the darkened sky suggests dusk. The boys lean onto the woman at the center of the composition, and the second woman sits to her right, our left. All of the people have pale skin, rosy cheeks, delicate noses, and their pink lips all turn up in slight smiles. The woman on our left sits with her body angled toward her friend but she turns her face to look at us with brown eyes under curving brows. Her wavy, flint-gray hair is loosely bound up so it frames the sides of her face and curls over her shoulders. Her swirling, white head covering is edged in gold and tied in a bow over her left ear, on our right. Her long-sleeved dress has a tight-fitting bodice and a low, scooped neckline lined with pleated white fabric. Her dress shimmers from sapphire blue to dusky pink, suggesting it is iridescent taffeta. Large pearls hang off the end of round, gold, hoop earrings, and a glimmering gold sash is tied around her waist. She sits with her left hand resting on her friend’s right shoulder, closer to her, and she gestures toward one of the young boys leaning on the friend’s lap with her other hand. The second woman sits with her body facing us, and she looks off to our left with gray-blue eyes. Her silvery gray, upswept hair is covered with a long piece of white fabric with pink stripes, twisted loosely into a turban-like head covering. She wears dangling gold earrings, and her dress is striped with parchment white and rust red. Her right hand, on our left, rests on her friend’s knee, and her other arm is wrapped around the older boy. He kneels on the bench and leans forward, wrapping the arm we can see around her torso. His face near hers, he looks up at her from under his lashes. A dimple marks the flushed cheek we can see. His chestnut-brown hair falls around his shoulders, and he wears a gingerbread-brown suit. The smaller and younger of the two boys rests his head on his crossed hands on her thigh, and looks out at us. He wears a white garment with a lilac-purple sash tied in a bow around his waist. There is a pale pink rosebush in the lower right corner of the painting, near the kneeling boy’s foot. The landscape beyond the balustrade is filled with dark green trees against a slate-blue sky. The painting is created with blended brushstrokes, giving it a soft look.

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, The Marquise de Pezay, and the Marquise de Rougé with Her Sons Alexis and Adrien, 1787, oil on canvas, Purchased as the Gift of the Bay Foundation in memory of Josephine Bay Paul and Ambassador Charles Ulrick Bay, 1964.11.1

Canceled—Œuvres majeures du bâtiment ouest (West Building tour in French)

Language Tours

  • Friday, April 17, 2020
  • 12:00 p.m.
  • West Building, Main Floor - Rotunda
  • In-person

Cette visite gratuite explore en français les œuvres majeures de l'ample collection permanente de la galerie. La visite dure entre 50 et 60 minutes.

Mars 20 at 12:00 p.m. (March)
Avril 17 at 12:00 p.m. (April)
Mai 21 at 12:00 p.m. (May)
Juin 19 at 12:00 p.m. (June)

Consultez nos informations pratiques pour préparer votre visite de la galerie.

Bâtiment Est