Lead: In 1778, young French portrait painter Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun was summoned to Versailles to become the court painter of one of the most fascinating figures of French history—Queen Marie Antoinette.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Marie Louise Elizabeth Vigee LeBrun was born in Paris in 1755. She received art lessons from her father. She was largely self-taught at a time when female artists were denied admittance to art academies. By age fifteen, Vigee LeBrun had demonstrated such skill that she able to help support her widowed mother and brother. At the age of 20, at the insistence of her mother, Vigee LeBrun married their landlord, Jean Baptise Pierre LeBrun, an art dealer and artist. By copying many of the fine works around her, she later recalled that she “received the best lessons I could have attained.”