“This painter,” writes Diderot about François Boucher, “only picks up a brush to show me tits and ass. It’s not that I don’t like to see them, I just don’t like it when they are shown to me.” Today, of course we no longer have Diderot’s scruples about the subject matter or about the painter. His nudes do not shock us, as for his portraits… Oh, let us look at this one, of Madame Pompadour in all her glory: the face, the hair, the dress, the shoes, the flowers, the dog! All pastels and pure voluptuousness and that is what rococo and the XVIII century are all about, all censored by the French Revolution, of course, the dog included. Already Diderot associated the lap dog in a woman’s portrait with the female sexuality. By the time of the Revolution the animal became a symbol of aristocratic decadence. The poor abandoned pets were hunted down in the streets of Paris to be burned alive in front of the City Hall! It does not matter, let us look at her again: Pompadour, Pompon, Pomponette, Reinette, former Madame Etiolle. The dog’s name was Inès.

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