While on the outside, their relationship was happy and healthy, modern historians now know that the couple hid a dark secret behind bedroom doors. At the ball, he unmasked himself to her and publicly declared his affection for Madame de Pompadour. When it came time for Pompadour to wed, he had just the man in mind: His nephew, the handsome financier Charles Guillaume Le Normant d’Etiolles. But such was Pompadour’s power over the ruler: The whole country could demand that he cut his mistress loose and he still wouldn’t budge. Angry courtiers even campaigned to make the king kick her out. How did Pompadour catch the French king’s eye? Pompadour made her mark on French history not just as a mistress and a sly politician but a tastemaker. King Louis XV’s kids were not thrilled that Pompadour had moved into the palace and they weren’t shy about who knew it. One of the most long-lasting aspects of Pompadour’s legacy is the hairstyle that bears her name. More scandalously, during her time as Louis XV’s mistress, she staged over a hundred plays at Versailles. She was just 42 years old, but she had lived a hundred lives in her short time on Earth. outside, their relationship was happy and healthy, modern historians now know that the couple hid a dark secret behind bedroom doors. The artistic side was wholly successful. Four years after her arrival, she caught such a dangerous bout of whooping cough that she had no choice but to go back home, where her mother’s disturbing plan kicked into gear. The best revenge might be living well, but that doesn't mean we can always turn the other cheek. Both children were clever, and the girl was fascinating; she was educated to be the wife of a rich man. King Louis XV described their bond not just as a passionate romance, but a “twenty year friendship.” Pompadour’s dear friend, the famous writer Voltaire, mourned her in writing. Frederick the Great crushed the huge, incompetently led French and Austrian armies, while the English were driving the French out of Canada. Her blonde hair, blue eyes, alabaster skin, and rosy cheeks immediately entranced King Louis XV. She got the king to overturn Calas’ sentence. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Pompadour was thrilled that she’d become the king’s mistress. In the French court, jealous courtiers coined a cruel phrase to insult Pompadour. We’re always looking for your input! The French writer, critic, and philosopher Denis Diderot was not a fan of Madame de Pompadour. Omissions? She had three. Pompadour pops up in all sorts of places. With that done, she made Louis give his wife’s apartments a stylish renovation. Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? She demanded that the king pay off his wife’s significant gambling debts. Charles thought things couldn’t get worse, but he was wrong. She played a huge role in making the city the “capital of taste and culture in Europe.”. But the reason for their cooperation isn’t so prim and proper: Pompadour made sure to suck up to her competition and went to disturbing lengths to make nice with the queen. After seven years of violence, the war ended but France had no reason to celebrate. Ouch…. Marie could hardly have been a more unsuitable wife for the handsome, artistic, sensual, and pleasure-loving Louis XV. Because of this inconvenient fact, she was too low-ranking to deserve a royal funeral attendance, even if the King himself was her life partner. Thank Madame de Pompadour. Pompadour would often flatter Louis XV by acting as a coy peasant in love with a god AKA the King, and people would lose their minds to get a part in her productions. In 1744 Louis XV’s young mistress, the duchesse de Châteauroux, died suddenly. They called her, and I quote, “Mommy Whore.”. When Pompadour was 19 years old, her guardian and possibly her secret father, Le Normant de Tournehem, came to her with a proposition. She agreed to live in another set of apartments to appease the court. As we’ll see, she would hold incredible power in the French court, effectively reigning even if she didn’t have a crown. Pompadour attended the masked ball in a saucy costume. The esteemed diplomat Wenzel Anton Graf Kaunitz requested Pompadour’s assistance with the seminal 1756 Treaty of Versailles. Eight years older than he, she was preoccupied with the welfare of her father (a deposed king of Poland), with childbearing, and with religion. One of Madame de Pompadour’s final acts was also one of her most noble. Honestly, I should be mad, but I’m just impressed. Charles stayed furious at Pompadour’s betrayal for years. He was brought in to implement the famous Reversal of Alliances, which allied France with its old enemy Austria against the German Protestant principalities. Madame d’Étioles became a shining star of Parisian society and was admired by the king himself. Here’s where it gets even worse: Diderot had sucked up to Pompadour when she was alive so that she’d fund his Encyclopedia. Louis ultimately sided with his mistress, and the Jesuits saw their rights greatly reduced because of her sway. But that’s not the full story…, The irony is that while Pompadour’s responsibility for France’s defeat was indirect at best, it is historical fact that Pompadour supported a number of important ministers such as Bertin and Machaut. In time, Pompadour rose to the top of the salons, despite her lowborn roots. As the most commanding mistress in the French court, she bettered the lives of many and became a beloved figure…. They had two children together, but tragically, both of them died while they were still very young. However, Pompadour’s enemies weren’t as enamoured with her as the French king. At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The future mistress received the best education a young girl could get at an Ursuline convent, with even the philosopher Voltaire admitting that he was impressed by how much she’d read. Madame de Pompadour was the long-standing mistress of King Louis XV of France. Additionally, he is an accomplished scriptwriter, having written the successful AA Meeting series for the stage and the award-winning film Depth of Pyaar. My mom never told me how her best friend died. Some of these people made immense fortunes, but many ended in the gutter if not in prison. Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? Madame de Pompadour became well known for her love of feminine designs and the rococo art style. And as though that’s not bad enough, some historians believe the poem had an even crueller meaning. Maurepas: 0. Image: Detail form François-Hubert Drouais, Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame, 1763-4. Nineteenth-century historians thought that Madame de Pompadour had complete ascendancy over Louis XV. The country had lost brutally, giving up their claim to territory in what is now the United States. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery. Pompadour didn’t just watch art from the sidelines, she took part in it herself. Factinate is a fact website that is dedicated to finding and sharing fun facts about science, history, animals, films, people, and much more. Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. The Treaty of Versailles made waves in 18th century Europe and one of its biggest developments was turning the former enemies of France and Austria into allies. The seer allegedly foretold that Pompadour “would one day reign over the heart of a king.” Pompadour would fulfill that prophecy, but her path to the top would be anything but smooth. She, uh, clearly didn’t have issues with self-confidence. He never forgave her for preferring the French king, and he made sure everyone knew it. She began to train her daughter for one purpose and one purpose alone: to be the king’s ideal mistress. He adored his bride and was deeply upset that she’d set her sights on another. At the time, failure to pay debts carried the death penalty. You can bet that didn’t go down well in the Tourneham family. Amid all Madame de Pompadour’s missteps, she and the king really did share a deep connection. In 1764, Madame de Pompadour began to feel unwell. King Louis XV may have commissioned the “marquise cut” diamond as a scandalous homage to his beloved mistress. When little Pompadour became ill and rushed home to recover, a mysterious man stepped in to help the young girl: the handsome tax collector Le Normant de Tournehem. Frankly, though, he should’ve counted himself lucky. Her parents were on the fringes of a class gaining in importance, speculators in the world of finance. In 1762, Madame de Pompadour convinced Louis to construct the Petit Trianon, a luxurious mini château within Versailles that would serve as their love nest. She miscarried her and the king’s child every single time. Pompadour had so much sway over the king that she got him to give her brother a noble title too. Pompadour and her husband, Charles Guillaume, had a brutal marriage almost from the get go. They thought that Pompadour was a power-hungry woman who manipulated the weakened king and used his melancholy moods to gain power. When Pompadour was young, her mother took her to a fortune teller. Although Catherine's successor Queen Anne Boleyn suffered an infamously dark fate, Aragon's own life was somehow even more tragic. As a patron of the arts, it made sense for Madame de Pompadour to cover the walls of her boudoir with expensive custom paintings. Not only did her breast form the shape of the French champagne glass, there’s also a long-standing rumor that she influenced a famous engagement ring style. As the most commanding mistress in the French court, she bettered the lives of many and became a beloved figure in European history and pop culture. In time, he got the happy ending he wanted when he settled down with a famous dancer. Towards the end of her life, Pompadour commissioned a painting of her embroidering fabric. She just didn’t mention one little detail: Pompadour’s new digs were even fancier and more expensive than her old place. Pompadour: 1. From 1750 onwards, Pompadour ceased being a sexual partner to Louis XV. At the time, this issue was incredibly volatile. In reality, Pompadour just accepted the king’s side pieces. Her father, François Poisson, involved in a black-market scandal, had to flee the country in 1725; his beautiful wife and two small children were then looked after by a more fortunate colleague, Le Normant de Tournehem. All these defeats were laid at the door of Madame de Pompadour. Though, to be fair, she wasn’t this nice to all religious minorities. He and his mistress patronized all forms of decorative art: painters, sculptors, cabinetmakers, and craftsmen worked under the royal eye; the famous porcelain factory was built at Sèvres. Another ugly betrayal quickly reared its head. She learned to engrave gems from the craft’s greatest artisan, with one of Pompadour’s pieces displaying her little spaniel on a tiny gemstone. She fell prey to melancholy, and soon after the end of the war she died, in the spring of 1764, probably of cancer of the lung, in her apartment at Versailles. Diderot angrily wrote, “What remains of this woman who cost us so much in men and money, left us without honor and without energy, and who overthrew the whole political system of Europe?”. They whispered that the king “only loves her for her staircase”…also known as her bedroom-based charms. She commissioned golden milk churns for her poor person cosplay…you know, because nothing makes you think of French peasantry more than solid gold. Apparently, the queen didn’t realize she’d been re-gifted as Marie reportedly quipped, “If there must be a mistress, better her than any other.”, At the height of Pompadour’s influence, she served as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Marie. Let’s just…, Madame De Pompadour: The King's Favourite,France 2, Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress, These People Got Revenge In The Most Ingenious Ways, Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife, 42 Twisted Facts More Chilling Than Any Horror Movie, Sneaky People Share The Secrets That They Were Never Supposed To Know. No clan is left untouched, and even families that seem happy and normal on…. But what do we really know about this fascinating woman?

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