Voltaire, Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, Maurice Quentin de La Tour, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Denis Diderot, François Boucher, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Ange-Jacques Gabriel, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais.
“Portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour”, Maurice-Quentin de la Tour, between 1748 and 1755.
Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, was born on December 29th back in 1721. This is my very favourite portrait of her: a full-length portrait wearing a wonderful robe à la française, lots of bows and masterfully made in pastel by de la Tour in (at least) eight sheets of paper.
She was the mistress of Louis XV from 1745 until her death, but in this portrait she looks much more like an intellectual than a courtesan: papers in her hands, Encyclopédie books behind her. She was a patron of the arts, the architecture and philosophers, so this girl knew what was worth.
I know you all will also love the fashion details: the dress print, the stomacher bows, the elbow ruffles, the laces and the petticoat that is glimpsed bellow her dress.
Marie Josèphe of Saxony, Dauphine of France. Maurice Quentin de La Tour (French, 1704-1788). Pastel on canvas. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden.
Maria Josepha of Saxony (1731-1767) became Dauphine at the age of fifteen through her marriage to Louis de France, the son and heir of Louis XV. Marie Josèphe was the mother of three kings of France, including Louis XVI, who died under the guillotine during the French Revolution. Her youngest daughter, Madame Élisabeth, also was beheaded during the Revolution.