Museums and Art

“Portrait of Madame de Pompadour”, Francois Boucher

“Portrait of Madame de Pompadour”, Francois Boucher

Portrait of Madame de Pompadour - Francois Boucher. 157 x 201 cm

Francois Boucher cannot be called a portrait painter. So the portrait of Madame de Pompadour is a rare, almost unique work.

With a favorite of King Boucher was friendly. It was Madame Pompadour who attracted the artist along with other prominent artists to the court of Louis XV. The great mistress, the king’s mistress herself, was no more than 5 years old, but for the rest of her life she managed to maintain her influence on the crowned lady, gave friendly advice and resolved many political issues. Those whom she favored, considered her smart, subtle and beneficent, those who did not come to the taste of the lady accused her of revenge, pettiness and cynicism. Today it is difficult to truthfully and accurately draw a psychological and moral portrait of this outstanding woman, but Bush certainly belonged to a cohort of fans of Pompadour. This is noticeable in the portrait made by the master. A close acquaintance of the artist with the patroness occurred in 1748, when the master was engaged in the design of her chambers.

Boucher presents us with a favorite in the best possible light. The heroine is depicted in a boudoir, half-sitting on her couch. She is wearing an exquisite, luxurious outfit decorated with lace. In the hair and neck jewelry, pearls on the wrist. There is no doubt that Madame de Pompadour is dressed in all the best and most expensive. Unusual shoes with heels, but without a heel on the legs - this is the style that Pompadour introduced into fashion. The abundance of roses in the portrait is not a coincidence. It is said that in the midst of the mud and unpleasant odors of Versailles, Madame was fragrant like a rose. It was she who began to teach the courtiers to wash. So in her portrait the heroine seems to breathe freshness, purity, delicate aromas.

A portrait of Boucher is not some kind of deep psychological research. There is no double bottom. However, the artist does not flatter his heroes - Pompadour is represented by a confident woman, self-sufficient and calm. Her book is in her hands and it can be seen from the pages that she really spent a lot of time reading. This indicates the education and erudition of the heroine.

Does the lady from the portrait look like a real person? It’s hard to say something sure about this. Madame herself in letters mentioned that Boucher depicted her too beautiful and therefore not very similar. Was the favorite flirting? It’s not clear, but Pompadour went down in history as a lady with a sharp and cold mind ...


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