Owned by Mme de Pompadour
, Louis XV, Louis XVI, and other notables in Versailles and 18th-century Paris, 124 works from an outstanding collection of French decorative arts are showcased in this impressive catalogue.
Few books I have seen in recent years have carried a painting of Mme de Pompadour
in the role of Galatea (in Acis and Galatea) which was staged at Louis XVI's private theatre in Versailles.
That on the discerning patroness Mme de Pompadour
was entitled 'The Art of Love' with giggly adolescent prurience, that on Francis Boucher was called 'Seductive Visions'.
One of the most elegant and refined of French furniture-makers, his work was supplied to Queen Marie Leszczynska, wife of Louis XV, the Prince de Conde and Mme de Pompadour
The fabulous colour, rose pompadour, was discontinued after the demise of Mme de Pompadour
in 1764 which would make our subject, circa 1760, even more desirable when bought if the shade was never going to be reproduced on Sevres pieces.
Mme de Pompadour
, who would certainly have been Watteau's patroness, was not born until the year of his death at the age of 37 in 1721.
This picture was also shown at the three venues of the very recent exhibition devoted to Mme de Pompadour
, (2) and now surely deserves a platinum frequent flier card.
If only Mme de Pompadour had lived on, she would have coveted the mahogany, marble and porcelain console table which Christie's sold recently for an astronomical sum.
The Mme de Pompadour exhibition closes January 12, 2003.
Confident in a paniered, brocaded velvet dress worthy of a diminutive Mme de Pompadour
, she casts a mild but gracious smile on all around from her delicate cerise lips and merry glancing eyes.
He reserves the marks of intelligence for his portraits of Mme de Pompadour
and the ladies of his patrician interiors, represented in the exhibition by The Milliner's Visit (1746), to which may be added The Breakfast Table (Louvre, 1739) and A Lady conferring with her Maid (Madrid Thyssen Collection, 1742).
The four years between Boucher's portrait of the marquise at the Wallace Collection and Francois-Hubert Drouais's Mme de Pompadour
with a Muff (Musee d'Orleans) mark the shocking rapidity of her decline.