MADAME DE POMPADOUR And The Politics of Porcelain with Sylvia Sagona

Tuesday 26 Mar 2013, 10:15 AM – 11:45 AM

The ‘divine Marquise’ who rose from obscurity to become Louis XV’s mistress, sole confidant and power behind the throne, cleverly maintained her power over the king in her role as arbiter of taste. As his roving eye strayed over younger women, she left the routine side of being a royal mistress to the more energetic and reinvented herself as unofficial minister of the arts. The grateful Louis awarded her vast sums to embellish Paris with magnificent mansions, and gardens. She masterminded the porcelain Manufacture de Sèvres and oversaw its designs which subtly celebrated her intelligence and beauty throughout Europe.

Sylvia Sagona is an internationally recognised specialist on 19th century French society. She retired from the French Department at The University of Melbourne to work on historical documentaries for French and Australian television and is currently researching a book on the invention of the restaurant in Paris.

François Boucher (1703–1770), Madame de Pompadour (Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson) (detail), circa 1756, Alte Pinakothe, Munich, Germany

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