Madame Vigée Lebrun Memoirs.
Translated by Lionel Strachey. George Braziller, 233 pages, $24.95
We knew it all along: eventually we'd be hearing from Madame Vigée Lebrun. There were years, of course, when no one spoke of her, when no one thought to pull her paintings out of the storage racks, to brush off the dust that had settled thickly over her reputation. But who could be fooled into thinking she was gone? Given the current state of scholarship and the vogue for reviving forgotten reputations—particularly those of women, and of academic painters— it was only Inevitable that Madame Vigée Lebrun, who qualifies abundantly in both categories, would be back.
And now she is. In the seven years since the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth organized a retrospective of her work—the first ever—Lebrun has been enjoying a new wave of popularity. She’s even made it to...