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Countess Golovina sweeps up her shawl and looks at us with startling candour. Vigée-Lebrun met and befriended Varvara Nikolaevna Golovina in Russia in the late 1790s during the artist’s exile from revolutionary France. She described Golovina as a ‘charming woman’ who was a talented musician and artist, and a lover of literature. The spontaneous and informal pose conveys Golovina’s lively intelligence and a sympathetic engagement between the two women.
oil on canvas
H 83.5 x W 66.7 cm