Aprons Made from Canvas: The Legacies of Marie-Jacob Godefroid, Restauratrice to the French Royal Art Collections, 1741-1775


  • Yasemin Altun




Eighteenth-century Paris was a site for significant changes in the art world, whether stylistically in the movement from Rococo towards Neoclassicism or socially in the growing presence of female artists. One field that emerged in this milieu was art restoration, here referring to the treatment of easel paintings in order to prevent signs of aging, such as surface discoloration, warping, etc. This paper focuses on Marie-Jacob Godefroid, a female art restorer active in the mid-eighteenth century whose career was unique in several regards, whether in life as a widowed mother or in work as an art restorer-dealer who received royal recognition. Launched from this biographic approach, my paper seeks to identify broader conceptions of womanhood that allowed female artists paths to success in a field hard-set by patriarchal traditions.