Crowning them is the full-length portrait of Mme de Pompadour
by La Tour (see p.
With which French king were Mme de Pompadour
and Mme Du Barry associated?
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'.
For the enlightened woman, there are paintings like Boucher's portraits of Mme de Pompadour
representing the favorite surrounded by the books of her preferred philosophes, sheets of music of contemporary composers, etc.
But given Rameau's increasingly close links with the French court in the mid-1740s (he received numerous commissions and in 1745 was appointed compositeur du cabinet du roy) it is conceivable that the work was sung to Louis XV by one of his musical daughters--or even by the equally musical Mme de Pompadour
, whose association with the king was just beginning.
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
. This piece latterly came from the Vanderbilt-Balsan Collection.
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.
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 opera had the additional distinction of being the only tragedie among the more than 20 operatic works performed by Mme de Pompadour
's troupe in the petits appartements theatre in Versailles (1747-50).