Marie-Suzanne Giroust

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Marie-Suzanne Roslin
Alexander Roslin - The Lady with the Veil (the Artist's Wife) - Google Art Project.jpg
Marie-Suzanne Roslin by Alexander Roslin (La Dame au voile, 1768). Nationalmuseum, Stockholm
Born 9 March 1734
Paris, France
Died 31 August 1772 (age 38)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Known for Painter, miniaturist and pastellist
Marie Suzanne Giroust - Roslin painted by her husband Alexander Roslin

Marie-Suzanne Giroust, Madame Roslin (9 March 1734 – 31 August 1772) was a French painter, miniaturist and pastellist. She was a member of the Académie de peinture et de sculpture. She was married to the Swedish painter Alexander Roslin.


Marie-Suzanne Giroust was born and lived her whole life in Paris. She was the daughter of Barthélemy Giroust, Jeweller to the King's Wardrobe (d. 1741) and Marie Suzanne Leroy (d. 1745). Orphaned at an early age, she was raised by relatives. Her inheritance enabled her to study art, and she was a student of first Maurice Quentin de La Tour and then of Joseph-Marie Vien. The teachings of Vien, in particular, affected her own art greatly.[1]

Giroust was active as an artist from the 1750s. She fell in love with the Swedish artist Alexander Roslin when she met him in the Vien studio in 1752. She wished to marry him, but was prevented from marrying him by her guardian and family, who disliked Roslin because he was poor and a Protestant.[1] After rejecting all the suitors suggested to her by her guardian, she was allowed to marry Roslin after mediation from Roslin's patron, the Comte de Caylus. The marriage occurred on 5 January 1759. The Swedish ambassador was a witness to the marriage contract. The couple had three daughters and three sons.[1]

Giroust was inducted into the Académie de peinture et de sculpture in 1770. There is no information about her activity within the academy and no notes that she suggested or participated in anything regarding the management or the policy of the academy from 1770 to 1772.[1]

Giroust was a pastel painter; Alexander Roslin once estimated that she was a better pastel painter than he was.[1] She was admired for her rendering of skin and the colours in her portrait paintings. In 1771, she was admired in her exhibition of her painting of abbé Lemonnier.[1] The "beautiful and strong colours" of her Portrait du sculpteur Pigalle, which is now in the Department of Graphic Arts at the Musée du Louvre, were praised by Denis Diderot.[2] She served as a model for her spouse in his 1768 painting La Dame au voile (The Lady with the Veil).

In his Dictionary of pastellists before 1800 (Online edition), Neil Jeffares provides biographical material as well as an 'iconographical genealogy' for Marie-Suzanne Giroust under the heading 'ROSLIN, Mme Alexander, née Marie-Suzanne-Thérèse Giroust.


Marie-Suzanne Giroust died of breast cancer in 1772, aged 38.[citation needed]




  1. ^ a b c d e f Roosval Johnny, Lilja Gösta, Andersson Knut(in Swedish): Svenskt konstnärslexikon: tiotusen svenska konstnärers liv och verk (English: Swedish Art dictionary), Allhem förlag. Malmö (1952-1967)
  2. ^ (French) Denis Diderot: Complete works, Jules Assézat, Maurice Tourneux, 1876, pg. 513
  • Alexander Roslin. Editor: Magnus Olausson. Stockholm: Nationalmuseum (2007); ISBN 978-91-7100-771-1 (in Swedish)
  • Roosval Johnny, Lilja Gösta, Andersson Knut(in Swedish): Svenskt konstnärslexikon: tiotusen svenska konstnärers liv och verk (English: Swedish Art dictionary), Allhem förlag. Malmö (1952–67)
  • Jeffares, Neil. Dictionary of pastellists before 1800 Online edition (last updated December 2015).

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