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Portrait of Madame de Pompadour

Painting, 1756, 157×201 cm

Description of the artwork «Portrait of Madame de Pompadour»

Francois Boucher was never a master of portrait painting. From nearly a thousand written paintings portraits will be typed hardly probable half a dozen. Half of them are portraits of one man – the notorious and brilliant the Marquise de Pompadour.

The name Pompadour became a household word during her lifetime. Her love affair with Louis XV lasted no more than five years, but the impact stretched much further and lasted longer. Pompadour managed to keep with the king of close friendly relations in many spheres, in fact, took over the government. It determines policy and dictates the tastes, approached and pushed, mercy and executed. Made room for many talented writers and artists (and Bush was just included in that number). But he was tyrannical and vindictive: more than a dozen writers were in jail after they dared to write against the word Pompadour. "After us the deluge!" – that she is credited with this popular expression.

The image of the Pompadour double vision. Those who crossed the road, thought of her as greedy, vindictive and cynical. Those who she protected, on the contrary, praised her for her courtesy and fine mind. Bush, of course, belongs to the second. The Marquis brought him to her about 1748. Bush was in her room, after she received orders from her own supply in a few years he headed the Royal manufactory of Gobelins.

Pompadour loved the Rococo style, and the Bush was considered a genius artist. No wonder that she trusted him to paint portraits.

"Portrait of Madame de Pompadour" from Munich the Alte Pinakothek is one of the most famous. With book in hand she reclines on the couch in her boudoir, and there is no doubt that the details of her toilet, from varieties of lace to pearls on the wrist, and parts of the interior is the most elegant and the most fashionable that could only exist in the historical moment. And these shoes with heels mules, like in the picture, styled exactly Pompadour. By the way, she's faced at Versailles with suffocating aroma composition of sweat, urine and dust, introduced the custom of often to bathe - before that ladies prefer to drown out the smell of body piercing perfume. And Bush is well able to convey to coming from the awning a feeling of freshness and purity (literally, not figuratively). About Madame said, "she smells the roses". Not able to transfer the fragrance, the Bush was decorated with roses her dress and threw a couple of roses on the floor at the feet of Pompadour.

Bush cannot be called deep psychologist: his portraits have no special insight, do not show traces of intense inner life. He is not inclined to expose their characters, but, fortunately, not particularly flattering to them. And if flattering, not rude: Pompadour Boucher depicts a calm and self-confident, without a shadow cheap flirting with the audience. The book in her hand (pages clearly worn from careful reading) and a bookcase behind only notice her a brilliant education, which would not be denied even by her detractors.

If anything the Bush can be criticized for this portrait, it is made in private letters of the Marquis itself: "He paints me beautiful but not too similar". Well, cold and sober mind is what allowed Madame de Pompadour to go down in history.

Author: Anna Yesterday
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Rococo

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1756

Size: 157×201 cm

Artwork in selections: 52 selections

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