France in the 18th century can be considered an age of women, as women began to appear in new roles throughout society. This was also the case in the art world, where two women painters Elisabeth-Louise Vigée, Le Brun and Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, began to make a living as painters at the end of the 18th century. These women were the first to be elected members of the Royal Academy of painting and sculpture, and they were followed in both the Academy and general society by a gradually increasing number of women artists. Capet, born in Lyon and trained in Paris in the studio of Labille-Guiard, was one of these women painters. Capet's name appeared as one of the 21 women who displayed works in the Salon of 1791, immediately after the French Revolution. In this self-portrait, Capet is shown holding drawing chalk clasped in a holder as she faces the easel. The painting is a splendid rendition of her youthful face, showing her in the fresh beauty of her 22nd year. The blue satin dress, boldly open at the chest, was fashionable for her day and blue ribbons of the same material reveal the gay lightness of the 18th century. However, in addition to its light Rococo sensuality, the painting also reveals a direct, simple expression that prefigures the styles of the coming age. By this point the storm of the French Revolution was forming on the horizon, and the art world also felt the gathering power of the idealism engendered by the art of the great cultures of the past, Greece and Rome, along with the realism suitable to the citizenry classes that were just then beginning to appear in society. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no.56)


  • Title: Self-Portrait
  • Date Created: ca. 1783
  • Location Created: France
  • Provenance: Collection Saint-Alary, Paris; Collection particuliére, New York.
  • Physical Dimensions: w595 x h775 mm
  • Painter: Marie-Gabrielle Capet
  • Object title (Japanese): 自画像
  • Object notes (Japanese): 18世紀のフランスは、女性たちが社会のさまざまな場所で活躍し始めた、いわば女性の時代であった。美術においてもそれは例外ではなく、18世紀の末にはエリザベート・ヴィジェ=ルブラン、アデライード・ラビーユ=ギアールという二人の傑出した画家が女性として初めて王立絵画・彫刻アカデミーの会員となったのを皮切りに、女性芸術家が相次いで社会に進出した。リヨン出身で、パリでラビーユ=ギアールのアトリエで学んだカペは、こうした当時の新進女性作家のひとりで、フランス大革命直後の1791年のサロンでは、そこに出品した21人の女性画家に名を連ねている。ホルダーにはさんだデッサン用のチョークを片手に画架の前に立つこの自画像には、溌剌とした22歳の若い作者の初々しい面影が見事に捉えられている。胸元の大胆に開いた青いサテンのドレスは当時の流行の衣装で、共地の青いリボンと相まって18世紀の華やぎを伝えている。しかし同時にここには、ロココ風の官能性と共に、新時代を予告するような簡素で直截な表現が現れている。すでにフランス大革命の嵐は目前に迫り、美術の世界でも、偉大な過去の古代文明であるギリシャ・ローマ美術への理想主義的関心や、台頭する新しい市民階層に相応しいレアリスムへの志向が高まっていたのである。画架に載ったカンヴァスの上にはうっすらと下書きが描かれているのが見える。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 56)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): カペ、マリー=ガブリエル
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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