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Madame de Pompadour (1721–1764)

Artist:
Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (French, 1714–1785)
Date:
1748–51
Culture:
French, Paris
Medium:
White marble (Sost, the French Pyrenees)
Dimensions:
Overall (confirmed): H. 29 7/8 x W. 18 5/8 x D. 11 3/8 in. (75.9 x 47.3 x 28.9 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
Accession Number:
49.7.70
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 616
The portrait was completed in 1751 when Madame de Pompadour was twenty-seven years old. It was probably meant for her residence château de Bellevue, which was finished the same year. She chose the stone for the bust, a hard and brittle marble, with the intention of promoting the use of local French materials. This piece was the first to be made of the white marble from the newly discovered quarry of Sost in the French Pyrenees.
Inscription: On drapery: monogram JAP surmounted by the marquise's coronet (for Jeanne Antoinette Poisson)

Marking: On clasp on left arm: three towers (the main charge of her coat of arms)
commissioned by the marquise de Pompadour , probably for her Château de Belleville (1751–d. 1764) ; her brother, Abel-François Poisson, marquis de Marigny , Château de Ménars (1764–d.1781) ; Gabriel Poisson de Malvoisin (until at least 1781) ; Mme de la Galissonniére (until at least ca. 1788) ; Mme de Mauléon , Château de Pescheseul ; Mme de Bellisen , Château de Pescheseul ; M. Tessier ; Baronne Dupuis ; marquise de Linthillac ; comtesse Yolande du Hamel de Breuil (until at least 1907; sold to Wildenstein) ; [ Georges Wildenstein (by 1918) ] ; baron Maurice de Rothschild , Paris ; Jules S. Bache (by 1920–49; to MMA)
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