Marie Lonise Elisabeth Lebrun, a French painter, born in Paris, April 16, 1755, died there, March 30, 1842. Her father, M. Vigee, was a painter, and her stepfather was a goldsmith, who exhibited in his shop her earliest portrait, which attracted much attention. She was patronized by Marie Antoinette, and was a favorite in fashionable society. She was admitted to the academy of painting, from which females were subsequently excluded. Her marriage in 1775 with Jean Baptiste Pierre Lebrun, the art critic and amateur, who died in 1813, was not a happy one, and they lived most of the time apart. In 1789 she went to Italy, where she was received with great distinction, and painted a remarkable portrait of Lady Hamilton in the character of a bacchante. She afterward visited Germany, Russia, England, and Switzerland. While in London (1802-'5) she painted portraits of the prince of Wales and of Lord Byron. She was in Switzerland in 1808-'9, and painted Mme, de Stael as Corinne, one of her best portraits. Notwithstanding many disappointments and reverses, she retained her artistic and social prominence to extreme age. and in her 80th year executed a portrait of her niece, which showed no decline in power. Besides portraits she painted landscapes and several semi-allegorical pieces.

She wrote Souvenirs de Mme. L. E. Vigee-Leorun (3 vols., Paris, 1835-'7), which contains lists of more than 650 portraits, 200 Swiss and English landscapes, and 15 other pictures.