Art, Art History, Artists, On this day..., Painters

On this day… was born Élisabeth-Sophie Chéron

Élisabeth-Sophie Chéron was a truly woman of Renaissance: gifted poet, musician, academicienne and artist, also she was fluent in French, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. She was very acclaimed in her time, but today she is remembered for her work as a painter.

Her father was an artist, and was him who trained her in the arts of enamelling and miniature painting since she was a little girl. By 1670 she was admitted to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture as a portrait painter, she worked under the sponsorship of the artist Charles Le Brun, who was a very influent figure of the time as a director of many art schools.

Élisabeth-Sophie_Chéron - selfportrait 1672
Self-portrait (1672, Louvre)

Chéron was the fourth woman painter to be admitted at the Académie, the other three were Catherine Girardon and the two daughters of the painter Louis de Boullogne. At the same time, she prepared paintings to exhibit in the Parisian Salon, she produced poetry and translations.

In 1694 she published her book of Psalm paraphrases: Essay de pseaumes et cantiques mis en vers et enrichis de figures. And in 1699 she had her literary talent recognized when she was a member of the Accademia dei Ricovrati in Padua, Italy.

Élisabeth-Sophie Chéron was born on this day in 1648 in Paris.


  • Her mother was a Catholic Roman and her father a Calvinist, both were very fervent on their beliefs and tried to influence Élisabeth. She only decided for the Catholic faith after passing a year in a convent.
  • Her Psalms were later set to music by Jean-Baptiste Drouard de Bousset and Antonia Bembo, a Venetian noblewoman.
  • Even though she was an affectionate daughter and sister, who devoted her earnings to the education of her brother Louis, she was indifferent to proposals of marriage she received from many brilliant and intellectual men throughout her life. In 1708, she married to the engineer Jacques Le Hay, surprising all her friends, she was 60 years old. After the marriage she was known as Madame Le Hay.