Reading through the humanities section, I feel that throughout history, there have been many artists who have portrayed several subjects, religious characters, emotions and stories through their paintings. Whether it be the cruelty of Gentileschi’s Judith, Holiness of Christ through Calling of Saint Matthew by Caravaggio, or the innocence of Madonnas, we saw several artworks with a splash of emotions, each representing the personality and backstory of the artist’s life. There are, however, a few paintings that became famous, but their artists’ lives remain unknown. For instance, the Young Woman, called Charlotte du Val d’Ognes, is one such painting having a long controversy over its ownership. For decades, the right artist was unknown. However, it was only after research and documentation, which proved the attribution absolutely definite. Today, we are here to celebrate the life of the artist who made such a fabulous painting, Marie Denise Villers.
Life of the Artist.
Born in Paris, Villers belonged to an artistic family with two of her sisters as an accomplished artist. She studied under Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, Francois Gerard and Jacques- Louis David. There is very little known about her early life and career, but we know that Villers exhibited at the Salon in 1799, which says that she was unquestionably a good artist. Marie married an architecture student, Michel-Jean-Maximilien Villers in 1794, who supported her to create art. Despite a few clues about her painting’s provenance, her life, death, and career remained a mystery.
|Died||1821 (aged 46)|
|Famous Painting||Young Woman, called Charlotte du Val d’Ognes|
|Masters||Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, Francois Gerard and Jacques- Louis David|
A Brief Look at Marie Denise Villers Paintings.
Jacques-Louis David was first credited with the painting Young Woman, called Charlotte du Val d’Ognes. In thirty years, Charles Sterline, an art historian, remarked it did not belong to David but to Constance Marie Charpentier. It was about a long double-edged sword for the art world as the Metropolitan Museum’s finest artwork belonged to someone else. But the story did not end here as after a few years, it was finally confirmed that the painting was by Villers. Specialised in Portraits, Villers painted the lady with the softness of her colours and a luminescent halo of light over her. Further, there is a use of contrasting colours and fine drapery through the long dress of the lady, making it even more perfect.
Another popular Marie Denise Villers paintings include Une etude de femme d’apres nature and Un enfant dans son berceau and entrainé par les eaux de l’inondation du mois de nivose an X.
Marie Denise Villers was a neoclassical painter who with her colours, strokes, and contrast, portrayed the best on the canvas. Albeit, many people forgot her name, we still see her as one of the important artists of France’s neoclassical period.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Marie Denise Villers was a French neoclassical painter who specialized in making portraits. She was one of the important painters of the 18th century who even exhibited her art in the Paris Salon in 1799 but seems to slowly disappear because of the lack of information about her life, paintings and career.
Marie Denise Villers painted Young Woman Drawing, an artwork that was earlier credited to Jacques-Louis David and then to Constance Marie Charpentier. It portrays Charlotte du Val d’Ognes with soft skin and a luminescent halo of light over her.
Marie-Denise Villers trained under Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, Francois Gerard, and Jacques- Louis David.