Marquise de Pompadour
by François Boucher, 1756

Alte Pinakothek, München

head bodice right arm skirt flounce shoes very close closeup on flounce with silver lace
(The last two are the only ones showing the real colours.)

Jeanne Antoinette Poisson:
* 29/12/1721 Paris
+ 15/4/1764 Versailles
Dame Le Normant d'Étioles, Marquise de Pompadour
from a Paris bankers' family, ennobled by Louis XV
Married Charles-Guillaume Le Normant d'Étioles, divorced him in 1744, and became mistress of King Louis XV. Although not very popular and frequently the subject of pseudo-moral critique, she was the fashion leader of the time. Whatever she wore was en vogue because she wore it. She was highly educated, a patron of the arts and had considerable influence on cultural life.

This is an official portrait, but not official enough for proper parure: Mme Pompadour wears deshabillé, although a very decorative one. Contouche and jupe are made of dark green taffeta (probably) and trimmed with scalloped flounces and bows of the same fabric. The flounces are, in turn, trimmed with silver lace (looks like fair green ruchings here) and pale pink silk roses. The pink is repeated in the large bows on the stomacher and sleeves, which appear to have pinked edges and three stripes of silver along each edge. The same ribbon was used for the médicis which is bound with a white ribbon in back. The lace of the engageantes appears unusually dense - that is, less diaphanous than you would expect - but that may simply be an artifact of the painter's technique. Regard the shoes: Delicate artworks of striped satin, silver heels and silver embroidery with spangles.

Other Pompadour portraits: by La Tour, Roslin, Boucher, Boucher 1759, and again Boucher

François Boucher:
* 29/9/1703 Paris
+ 30/5/1770 Paris
Favourite painter and protégé of Madame de Pompadour. One of the triumvirate of French 18th century painting (the others being Watteau and Fragonard).



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