A wonderful 18th century miniature painting of the famous mistress of France's King Louis XV, Madame Pompadour, a casual intimate pose with her reading. From my collections, recently acquired from a US collection, I believe this is a c.1750s intimate portrait of Mme Pompadour (Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Royal Mistress and Confidante of King Louis XV, France). The settings, style of portrait and the casual intimacy of her pose all liken to her other portraits - at her sewing; at her reading; at her boudoir; at tea. In this one her face looks right, as well, but for the exagerated pink make-up usually shown on her cheeks, making it an even more intimate portrait in my view. Painted for a dear friend? Or for King Louis XV, himself? We will never know for certain. Charles-André v van Loo, (French, 1705-1765) was from a long lineage of Dutch artists - a true dynasty. He was also a favorite artist (First painter to) of Louis XV and his Mistress, whose portrait I offer here. The question that remains is, is it a miniature after a Van Loo painting, or is this the original, worked to finish by one of his assistants? One certainly can imagine that King Louis XV had many portrait miniatures of her, and likewise, her favorites might have had one of these more intimate remembrances of her without her Courtier's wig and all the pomp.
Very good to excellent condition. The fine tortoise shell snuff box is superb, 3" in diameter and 1" tall, I believe the gold mat to have a facing of karat gold, though I neglected to remember to test it for karat while I had it unmounted. It has really not a single flaw, indicating the precious item it has long been to some family. When I found her, the interior of the convex cover glass was coated in dust, making viewing the painting difficult. I did take her from her mount and clean thoroughly. I found no signature, but did find that behind her face lies a silver foil, which would act to reflect light up through the face, making her glow a bit. This portrait seems to be toward her later years. She was always Louis XV's favorite. Her face here is just 5/8", chin to hairline.
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