Villers, Mme (fl. late 18th c.)

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Villers, Mme (fl. late 18th c.)

French artist . Active in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Madame Villers is an enigmatic figure in the history of French art, with little known about her background. Scant and confusing information has been found in the Paris Salon catalogs of 1799, 1801, and 1802, all years when a Mme Villers exhibited a handful of paintings. It is believed that her maiden name was either Lemoine or Nisa, and that she studied with an artist named either Giraudet (an unknown figure), Girardet (one of a large family of Swiss artists), or possibly Anne Louis Girodet-Trioson (1767–1824). Work exhibited by Villers in those three Salons included the accomplished if conventional A Baby in its Cradle (exhibited in 1802) and the charming Portrait of Mme Soustras, which was possibly also exhibited in 1802 under the title A Study of a Woman from Nature. Its subject, possibly a dancer, is depicted bending over to lace up her slipper, a popular pose with artists of Villers' day (most notably Goya in Bien tirada está), as was the painting's landscape setting, which is suggestive of Girodet-Trioson's Portrait of J.B. Belley (1797).


Harris, Anne Sutherland, and Linda Nochlin. Women Artists, 1550–1950. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, 1976.

Paula Morris , D.Phil., Brooklyn, New York

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Villers, Mme (fl. late 18th c.)

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