Madame de Pompadour The main objective of this slide show is to gain visual exposure to the decorative arts during the Rococo period and Madame de Pompadour’s influence and patronage. Madame de Pompadour lived from 1721 to 1764. She was a great patron of art and culture while she reigned as Louis XV’s mistress. This is the actual dress she wore when she sat for her picture in the previous slide. It reflected the elaborate, feminine characteristics of French art during the 1700’s She caught the eye of the king at a famous masked ball in Versailles in 1745. Louis was disguised as a tree during this ball. She managed to maintain a good relationship with the Queen, Louis XV’s wife, who said “Better her, than any other.” Madame de Pompadour loved beautiful objects. This was the age of beautiful furniture. In fact, even to this day FFF is considered the apex of art and beauty. Pillar mirrors (mirrors that extend down the wall) were popular. They reflected the candlelight found in the salons of Paris and France. Sedan chairs were carried by footmen so the aristocrat’s feet did not get wet or muddy. These books were owned by Madame de Pompadour… Madame de Pompadour supported the Duke of Choiseul to be Foreign Minister of France. Choiseul strongly favored the alliance with Austria. This alliance broke up the alliance with Prussia, forced Prussia to side with England, and in the end, France lost its colonies in the New World. As a result, Madame de Pompadour was blamed for the ruin of France, and the outcome of the Seven Years War. Her legacy remains the beautiful objects and romantic inspiration of the Rococo age. The word Rococo means shell work, and clam shells feature prominently, along with flourishes and flowers in Rococo art work. Remember, Rococo has an essentially Feminine feel to it. Madame de Pompadour wore a cameo of Louis XV on her wrist. Aristocratic ladies had elaborate dressing tables, called toilettes with beautifully crafted objects on them. These are Madame de Pompadour’s rooms that have been reconstructed at Versailles! The gold fish became fashionable in France when the India Company sent a number of beautiful fish to Madame de Pompadour, in 1750. She used to keep the red fishes into jugs made of glass or porcelain on the mantelpieces as well as on the windowsills of Versailles. A glass pattern created in France and promoted by a clever publicity operation. It was said that it was molded on Madame de Pompadour’s breast. Maybe for this legend people sometimes drink champagne in this kind of glasses. She ceased to be Louis’ mistress, but remained his trusted friend. She died of Tuberculosis at age 42. She supported some of the greatest minds of the Enlightenment. Hated by the French people, she was nonetheless a symbol of the age. Her patronage of the arts left a glorious cultural legacy to France. The main objective of this slide show was to gain visual exposure to the decorative arts during the Rococo period and Madame de Pompadour’s influence and patronage.