A Picture for the Frame


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If Van Loo is the court painter of Louis XV, then Boucher is the court painter of Pompadour. Only he is not a court painter, for there is not a single Boucher portrait at Versailles. This is why we recognize in this painting a challenge for both the model-patron and the artist. Apparently their campaign had failed; so, talk about the nobility of a flop — it is as tragic and poetic as a rose on the floor; and we do see some of them scattered there, though barely distinguishable on the carpet — they are as transitory as the transition from the young woman’s foot to those manuscripts and books, maps — all pushed aside in her presence — a beautiful woman touching a melancholy note quite nonchalantly. Judging from the Marquise’s  face that is the note: perhaps she anticipates the picture’s reception; and so, it is sad, because in the end her intelligence triumphs over her beauty, and Boucher’s masterpiece remains a private work of art never to go up in scale to challenge the standing portrait at Versailles.

 

 

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This entry was posted in Court, Courtiers, Louis XV, Louvre, Madame Pompadour, Versailles. Bookmark the permalink.

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