INSERT HERE INSERT HERE INSERT NMBER HERE INSERT HERE Art Criticism: Anne Vallayer-Coster - An Artistic Trailblazer In the midst of seemingly endless and constant political, social, and economic revolutions, the art community and its contributions to providing glimpses of decades-past have remained a staple for expression and reflection. No matter how a society’s structure may be altered, expression of the very soul of the people can always be found in art works of the period. Anne Vallayer-Coster was an 18th-century French painter prodigy who revolutionized still-life painting and the art community’s appreciation for its intricate and representative beauty.
Throughout her artistic career, Vallayer-Coster received untold amounts of praise and admiration from both the artistic community and the pre-French Revolution monarchy. In a patriarchal society of a male-dominated world, Vallayer-Coster was not only able to gain success, but also enjoyed acceptance among her confraternity contemporaries. Throughout her life, Vallayer-Coster was able to consistently produce revered and treasured works of art whose beauty has withstood the test of time. Today, she is regarded as one of the most talented and respected still-life painters of her time, and her work is held in high esteem across the world.
Anne Vallayer-Coster was born in Bievre, France, near the Seine River, in 1744 into the family of the goldsmith to the royal family of Gobelines (Greer, 244-247). When Anne was ten, her father and mother moved her and her four sisters to Paris, where Anne went on to receive her training not from a studio or master artist, but rather from a variety of non-conventional sources including her father, Madeline Bassport, who was a botanist, and the renowned marine painter Joseph Vernet (Cohen, 2003).
Though her unconventional study pursuits helped to develop and hone her noteworthy talent, they did limit her attaining acclaim and recognition in the artistic community. At the age of twenty-six, Anne still had not attained a sponsor for her artwork, nor was her name well-known in any artistic circles (Greer, 244-247). This seeming lack of success in her passion distressed Anne to great extent. In 1770, she reluctantly submitted two of her still life works (The Attributes of Painting and The Attributes of Music) to the acclaimed Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, in hopes of gaining admittance (Greer, 244-247).
Upon reviewing her work, she was quickly admitted to the Royal Academie as a full member by a unanimous vote; the reviewing Academicians were instantly taken by her brilliant attention to detail and obvious talent (Greer, 244-247).
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