28 November 2011

& Pompadour too: Exotic Taste


Sultane , depicting Madame Pompadour
Charles-André van Loo, 1747

a small ladies writing desk in blue & gold lacquer attributed to Adrien Faizelot-Delorme 
owned by Madame Pompadour-from the book EXOTIC TASTE

(I'd say that's Pompadour Blue) 

still the most delightful biography of Madame Pompadour is by Nancy Mitford. "Apart from Miss Mitford’s special interests in the fun and fashion department, one may admire her most for her power to condense and explain the most complicated events."— The New Statesman


  1. An incalculably influential woman and captivatingly brilliant, I feel I understand her well because of NM but also because of many men's (certainly one's own) "exotic taste" for such discoveries; she reminds me greatly of my last fiancée. She led through intelligence and that most arresting of feminine gifts, a genius for knowing a man's struggle. That's my benchmark; sorry I missed her.

    Like the blue, kid.

  2. My only experience with Madame Pompadour was that our parents named our first dog, a poodle of course, after her, but we called her Pammie.

    With that and the blue, her bio should be an interesting one!

  3. I have not been around long; however, the two comments above stopped me in my tracks.


    Still in shock; I want to say......."Pammie" is the best name for a Poodle......(a Standard?)

  4. Laurent,The wiles of a woman never to be estimated!

  5. Ann, I'm glad you are going to read the Mitford Pompadour bio-I am going to read it again in December to refresh my thoughts. Let me know what you think of it and I will do the same.Gaye

  6. Penelope, I do get the best and greatest comments! I am stopped in my tracks often and thank you for you tracking stopping visits here, as always. pgt

  7. Loved these images, Gaye -Pompadour in Turkish dress, and her writing desk. Pompadour to me seems to personify to Rococo style, the period in which she lived all her life, and to get at the heart of the Rococo, one can look to her as a kind of definition, I think, where the personality of one person infuses everything around them. It is a supremely feminine style, the dynamic volute of the Baroque now softened as the "s" curve and "c" scroll, of the cabriole leg; monumentality now replaced with intimacy; a period flanked by Classicism -and in that -a uniquely expressive style of great charm, and a period where asymmetry soared and yet found balance; a taste for the exotic as caprice and delight. I am reminded, too, of her friendship with Voltaire, and others, and there is this quicksilver inventiveness to the period in an explosion of new furniture forms -small tables and the like for specific purposes...and so in this writing desk, with its shaped sides, brilliant blue paint and raised Chinoiserie gilt decoration, all to enclose letters and written expressions of ideas, it is as though Madame Pompadour herself was presented before us.
    Loved this post, thank you for the delight and inspiration.



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