Category Archives: Madame Pompadour

A Picture for the Frame

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 … Continue reading

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Her Porcelain Court

This gilded bronze clock, together with its zoomorphic orchestra, belonged to Madame de Pompadour. Judging from the expression of the conductor, the apes are in the middle of a rehearsal. Yet we can’t hear them. The clock has stopped. It was … Continue reading

Posted in Chateau Versailles, Court, Courtiers, Madame Pompadour, Marie Leszczinska | Leave a comment

Versailles Renaissance Forever (Continued)

The funny thing is, you don’t have to leave Paris to see le Petit Trianon. In 1912 an architect René Sergent built this quasi replica of Marie-Antoinette’s demure at 63 rue de Monceau for a collector of the XVIII century antiques, … Continue reading

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Cupid Sharpening His Bow with Hercules’ Mace: Neoclassicism at Little Trianon

Beside the Anglo-Chinese gardens and the Louis XVI- style furniture, what is so neoclassical about Little Trianon? This is a kind of question to ask at an oral examination  if you want to fail a student. There he goes, shuffling … Continue reading

Posted in Louis XV, Madam Pompadour, Madame Pompadour, Marie-Antoinette, Winckelmann | Leave a comment

Casanova, Lottery and the Taking of the Bastille

Casanova’s reputation as a lover has by far surpassed his ability as a businessman. Yet the famous Venetian knew how to combine his pleasure with business. And his main business in mid-XVIII century Paris was lottery. In 1757 Madame Pompadour had … Continue reading

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Taking a Bath with Madame Montespan, Versailles Renaissance at the Turn of the Century

The turn of the century. Not this century, the last one. The interest in Versailles was provoked by the feeling of nostalgia radiating from the king of the Parisian dandies, Robert Montesquiou. This is the beginning of the aesthetic movement … Continue reading

Posted in Chateau Versailles, Court, Courtiers, d'Artagnan, Duels, Estate of Marie-Antoinette, Gardens and Park, Homosexuality at Versailles, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Madam Pompadour, Madame de Montespan, Madame Pompadour, Marie-Antoinette, Versailles Renaissance | Leave a comment

That Was One Hell of an Apparatus

Princess Palatine told us that Louis XIV would set himself a definite number of words to use for every occasion; let us say fourteen at breakfast, twenty at cards, sixty during the High Council, and so on. He was not … Continue reading

Posted in Chateau Versailles, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Madam Pompadour, Madame Pompadour, Marie Leszczinska, Marie-Antoinette, Saint-Simon | Leave a comment