Tori Champion


Le pinceau à la main: The Intertwined Lives and Careers of Madeleine Françoise Basseporte and Marie-Thérèse Reboul Vien


Madeleine Françoise Basseporte (1701-1780) and Marie-Thérèse Reboul Vien (1735-1806), two artists whose lives intertwined over the course of the eighteenth century in Paris, experienced careers that present fascinating case studies for Enlightenment-era artistic lineage and training, professional obstacles for women, and the placement of women artists in the context of the rococo. Basseporte was a portraitist and botanical illustrator who became the French king’s official plant painter at the Jardin du Roi, the only woman ever to hold this position, which she occupied for almost half a century. Reboul Vien was an illustrator of scientific volumes, a painter of natural history, and a member of the prestigious Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, which admitted just fifteen women in its 145-year history. This project pieces together the fragmentary and very often contradictory factual knowledge we possess regarding these two artists, in an effort to provide a more complete view of their lives and careers. The assumption that Basseporte was Reboul Vien’s artistic instructor has been adopted by scholars in recent years, but the hypothesis, though compelling, remains unproven. Through comparative examination of Basseporte and Reboul Vien’s work and singular professional trajectories, this thesis critically analyzes the theory of their connection, as well as crucially increases the depth and breadth of scholarship on these two artists.


  • Estelle Lingo, Chair (Art History)
  • Marek Wieczorek (Art History)
  • Ellwood Wiggins (Germanics)


Tori Champion specializes in the art and architecture of France and Great Britain during the ‘long’ eighteenth century, with particular interests in portraiture, botanical illustration, and women artists. Tori holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Policy Analysis and International Business from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. During spring quarter 2021, she served as the Blakemore Intern for Japanese and Korean Art at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. She will be continuing her studies, beginning August 2021, as a PhD student in the School of Art History at the University of St. Andrews.


  • 2020-2021 Victoria Reed Architectural History Research Award
  • 2020-2021 Pell Research Award


  • Master of Arts, Art History, University of Washington, 2021
  • Bachelor of Science, Public Policy Analysis and International Business, Indiana University, 2017