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Framing a masterpiece by Anne Vallayer-Coster

May 10, 2022

2 minute read


Framing a Masterpiece by Anne Vallayer-Coster

Detail of Still Life of Flowers in a Vase, 60 ⅝ x 51 ⅛”

We’re pleased to have recently framed this beautiful work by Anne Vallayer-Coster for a private client. This masterpiece, exhibited in the Salon of 1775,  was painted when Vallayer-Coster was creating some of her most important floral still life artworks. The grand floral display was painted with a brilliant sense of texture and color infused with subtle quiet light.

Alexander Roslin, Portrait of Anne Vallayer-Coster, 1783

Born into a well-known artistic family, Anne Vallayer-Coster became one of the foremost still-life painters in late 18th century Paris, France during the age of Marie-Antoinette; still, life painting was the genre considered most suitable to women artists at the time. Known for her talent and virtuosity, she painted with fluid brushwork and skill as a colorist.

She is often compared to Elisabeth Louise Vigee-LeBrun and Adélaïde Labille-Guiard who were well-known 18th-century female portrait artists and she is one of only four women artists at the time to be elected into the Academie Royale, a remarkable accomplishment at age 26. Exhibiting regularly at the Salon from 1771 to 1817, Vallayer-Coster was named Painter to Queen Marie Antoinette in 1780.


Framed by Lowy in an exquisite late 19th-century French gilt composition frame featuring rows of continuous acanthus leaf ornament and beautiful original gilding that perfectly complements the elegant detail of the composition and the vase of flowers.

This rare frame is marked on the verso with a label from the Paris firm of Souty and featured in the Lowy book, “ The Secret Lives of Frames”.

The painting was purchased by a private collector for their Long Island home and will be exhibited along with contemporary paintings. The sensual painterly style used by Vallayer-Coster forms an interesting juxtaposition with the ethereal abstract expressionist veil-like painting by Morris Louis.

Anne Vallayer-Coster is showcased in the Louvre, and the National Gallery of Art among others, and is one of the foremost female artists of her time.