A Space of Their Own

Pauline Auzou

March 24, 1775 – May 15, 1835

Active in: France
Alternate names: Pauline Desmarquets


Born in Paris in 1775, Pauline Auzou came of age during the French Revolution. She was born Jeanne-Marie-Catherine Desmarquets and took the name La Chapelle when she was adopted by a cousin. She married Charles-Marie Auzou in 1793 and that same year, she began to exhibit at the Salon. Her earliest paintings were subjects from antiquity, including Daphnis and Phyllis, which she exhibited at the Salon in 1795.

In 1802, she entered the studio of Jean-Baptiste Regnault for further training. She was one of several women artists to study with Regnault at the turn of the century. Her artistic abilities quickly developed, and in 1806 she was awarded a first-class medal at the Salon for her portrait of Pickard Elder.

Following the coronation of Napoleon I as emperor of the French in 1804, Auzou aligned herself with the imperial court. In 1810, her painting of Napoleon and his bride, Marie-Louise, was exhibited at the Salon. Auzou continued to exhibit regularly at the Salon until 1817. Her later works include portraits, as well as genre and history paintings. For more than twenty years, Auzou maintained a studio for other women artists. She died in Paris in 1835.

Selected Works


Bénézit, Emmanuel. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs de tous les temps et de tous les pays. Paris: Grund, 1976.

Beyer, Andreas, Bénédicte Savoy, Wolff Tegethoff, and Eberhard König. Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker. Munich: Saur, 1992.

Bryan, Michael. Dictionary of Painters and Engravers. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1909–10.

Busse, Joachim. Internationales Handbuch aller Maler und Bildhauer des 19. Jahrhunderts: Busse-Verzeichnis. Wiesbaden: Busse, 1977.

Chapman, Caroline. Eighteenth-Century Women Artists: Their Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs. London: Unicorn, 2017.

Checklist of Painters ca. 1200–1976 Represented in the Witt Library, Courtauld Institute of Art, London. London: Mansell, 1978.

Clark, Linda L. Women and Achievement in Nineteenth-Century Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Doy, Gen. Seeing and Consciousness: Women, Class, and Representation. Berg: Bloomsbury,

Dunn, Lindsay. “A Revolutionary Empress in the Age of Napoleon: Marie-Louise, Archduchess of Austria, Empress of the French, and Duchess of Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla (1791–1847).” PhD Dissertation, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, 2014.

The Epic and the Intimate: French Drawings from the John D. Reilly Collection. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, Snite Museum of Art, 2011.

Gaze, Delia. Dictionary of Women Artists. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.

Greer, Germaine. The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1979.

Guffey, Elizabeth E. Drawing an Elusive Line: The Art of Pierre-Paul Prud’hon. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2001.

Lafont, Anne, ed. Plumes et Pinceaux. Discours de femmes sur l’art en Europe (1750–1850) – Anthologie. Dijon: INHA, 2012.

Lambertson, J. P. “Alliance or Love? Reflections on Marriage, Career, and Creativity through the Life and Painting of Pauline Auzou.” Topic: The Washington and Jefferson College Review (2007): 25–36.

Olsen, Kirstin. Chronology of Women’s History. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1994.

Oppenheimer, Margaret. The French Portrait: Revolution to Restoration. Northampton, MA: Smith College Museum of Art, 2005.

Oxford Art Online. “Auzou [née Desmarque(s)], Pauline.” https://doi-org.proxyiub.uits.iu.edu/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T005258.

RKD. “Pauline Auzou-Desmarquets.” https://rkd.nl/explore/artists/3040.

Thieme, Ulrich and Felix Becker. Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler: von der Antike

bis zur Gegenwart. Leipzig: Seemann, 1907–50.