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Constance Mayer

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Constance Mayer (1778-1821) was a French painter known for her portraits, miniatures sand allegorical paintings. She lived through the first republic and was the daughter of a government official. This almost certainly guaranteed that she would have been privy to some of the horrors of the era. She was very fond of her father and often painted him. Mayer studied under and among many influential artists throughout her career, including Joseph- Benoît Suvée and Jean-Baptiste Greuze. She had a soft style and was able to make paintings sentimental. Mayer also showed a distinguishing talent for conveying animated personalities in her paintings. She had a long-lasting and complicated relationship with Pierre-Paul Prud’hon. Beginning as his pupil, the two soon began working on artworks together, studying together, and Mayer even became his ‘assistant’. Later on, there was confusion over who created what works of art in the relationship, and as with most female-male partnerships at the time, Prud’hon often got credit for work that Mayer created. After Mayer’s father passed away in 1810, she moved to live next to Prud’hon. Mayer was known to have suffered from depression and anxiety and in 1821, she was found dead, having committed suicide.

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