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Anne C Duke (active 1906)

Madame de Pompadour (1721-64) Inscribed 1906

Oil on canvas | 97.0 x 77.2 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 405372

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  • This painting is a early twentieth century copy after the painting by François Boucher (1703-70), dated 1758, formerly in the John Jones collection and now held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (No. 487-1882).

    François Boucher (1703-1770) was born in Paris and probably received his first artistic training from his father who was a painter before attending the Académie de France in Rome. He may also have travelled to Naples, Venice and Bologna. Around 1731 Boucher returned to Paris where he rapidly gained the royal favour and interest from the private collectors. He was a very prolific artist and produced a wide range of artworks from pastoral paintings, porcelain and tapestry designs as well as stage designs influencing deeply the new Rococo movement.The painting reflects the admiration for artists such as Gainsborough and Boucher in the early part of the Twentieth century. For example, Philip Wilson Steer's 1906 portrait of Mrs Violet Hammersley echoes the pose of Boucher's Madame de Pompadour (Art Gallery New South Wales, No 9155), while François Flameng's 1908 portrait of Queen Alexandra in the Royal Collection, with its glade setting and finely rendered silks, similarly owes a debt to both 18th century artists (RCIN 405360).

    Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour 1721 – 1764), commonly known as Madame de Pompadour, was the offical chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to 1751, and remained influential as court favourite until her death.Madame de Pompadour was an influential patron of the arts, who played a central role in making Paris the leading capital of taste and culture in mid-eighteenth century Europe. Her patronage of artists and manufacturers including Boucher and Sevres stimulated innovation in what is known as the "Rococo" style in the fine and decorative arts.This painting is a fine example of the dominant Rococo style in eighteenth century. Madame de Pompadour is portrayed in a garden or woodland clearing, wearing a sumptuous silk dress, which merges in with verdant green of the surrounding vegitation.

    The painting is first recorded hanging in Buckingham Palace in 1911 (Vol VII p220) and bears a George V Private Property label, suggesting it may have been acquired by him.

    Provenance

    Possibly acquired by King George V; first recorded at Buckingham Palace in 1911

  • Medium and techniques

    Oil on canvas

    Measurements

    97.0 x 77.2 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external)

    91.5 x 76.5 x 11.0 cm (frame, external)

  • Alternative title(s)

    Jeanne-Antoinette, Madame la Marquise de Pompadour (1721-1764)