Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, the daughter of a minor painter, Louis Vigée, was born and brought up in Paris. She became a member of the Académie de St-Luc in 1774 and of the French Academy in 1783. She was a highly fashionable portrait painter, patronised particularly by Queen Marie Antoinette. Between 1789 and 1805 she travelled in Europe and visited Russia.
Her artistic style is generally considered part of the aftermath of Rococo, while she often adopts a neoclassical style. Vigée Le Brun cannot be considered a pure Neoclassicist, however, in that she creates mostly portraits in Neoclassical dress rather than the History painting. While serving as the portrait painter to Marie Antoinette, Vigée Le Brun works purely in Rococo in both her color and style choices.