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Marie-Guillemine Benoist | Neoclassical painter

Marie Guillemine Benoist [1768-1826] was born in Paris.
Her training as an artist began in 1781 under Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, and she entered Jacques-Louis David's atelier in 1786 along with her sister Marie-Élisabeth Laville-Leroux.
The poet Charles-Albert Demoustier, who met her in 1784, was inspired by her in creating the character Émile in his work Lettres à Émilie sur la mythologie (1801).
In 1791 she exhibited for the first time in the Salon de Paris, displaying her mythology-inspired picture Psyché faisant ses adieux à sa famille.
Another of her paintings of this period, L'Innocence entre la vertu et le vice, is similarly mythological and reveals her feminist interests, vice is represented by a man, although it was traditionally represented by a woman.
In 1800, she exhibited Portrait d'une négresse in the Salon.
Six years previously, slavery had been abolished, and this image became a symbol for women's emancipation and black people's rights. This picture was acquired by Louis XVIII for France in 1818.