The beautiful world of Madame de Pompadour

6 January 2012

They’ve recently reconstructed how they think Madame de Pompadour’s rooms at Versailles may have looked when she lived in them. How beautiful is this bedroom? It’s clear from looking at her belongings and portraits that Madame was fond of what I always call ‘mermaid colours’: the rich and varying blue and green hues of the sea and sky.

It’s reminiscent of her best known portrait by Boucher, which was painted in 1756 and depicts the Marquise in her rooms at Versailles, surrounded by a plethora of objects that are intended to show off how she was not only a highly finished piece of nature but also an intellectual at the same time.

Like Marie Antoinette and the Empress Joséphine, Madame de Pompadour loved to surround herself with beautiful flowers at all times and her rooms must have been crammed full of fragrant blooms grown just for her in the hot houses of Versailles. She went further though and united her twin loves of flowers and fine china, as in this gorgeous jardinière from Sèvres.

She had a garden of realistic looking china flowers at her château at Bellevue, cunningly fashioned so that they smelt of a heady floral oil. The effect must have been absolutely divine but was also divinely expensive.

Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour were both great patrons of Sèvres and regularly hosted sales of their pieces in the royal apartments at Versailles. They were also fond of presenting dinner services or smaller, more intimate knick knacks as gifts to friends, visiting ambassadors or foreign royalty. This pair of pot pourri vases was created by Sèvres in 1762 and are painted in the lovely shade of blue green that Madame de Pompadour particularly favoured.

The couple also seem to have had a particular fondness for clocks and this is a particularly lovely example, again from Sèvres in around 1762.

The Chinoiserie style was big news in eighteenth century Europe and Madame de Pompadour was as keen as anyone to acquire pieces inspired by the art of China.

Madame de Pompadour loved art and artists but seems to have a particular fondness for sculpture, commissioning several significant pieces during her tenure as royal mistress. She particularly loved ‘Cupid fashioning a bow out of the club of Hercules’ by Edme Bouchardon.

This lovely piece, ‘L’Amour Menacant’ by Falconet was also a favourite.

It’s not surprising really that she had herself sculpted several times over. This lovely piece is by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle and was created in 1751, just as Madame de Pompadour was at the very peak of her power.

You Might Also Like...