This massive global conflict began just months after the treaty was signed, and unfortunately for Pompadour, it could not have gone worse. Charles stayed furious at Pompadour’s betrayal for years. When Charles refused to give up his wife, King Louis started playing dirty. Omissions? She was soon replaced by Madame d’Étioles, who obtained a legal separation from her husband and was created marquise de Pompadour. …respectively, to the protection of Mme de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV—brought him into favour again at Versailles. 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. After her death, he let the world know how he really felt about the king’s great love. Even so, there is a dark detail about Pompadour’s involvement in the War and it involves a now-famous quotation. Subtle! Not all her legacies would be so positive, though. Updates? One of her last actions was to get Louis XV’s support for the revision of the Calas case, a gross miscarriage of justice in which Voltaire was interested. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. In time, Pompadour rose to the top of the salons, despite her lowborn roots. It seemed like an innocent activity, but the truth wasn’t so simple: Pompadour would meet with world leaders and negotiate power while demurely embroidering. Madame de Pompadour acted as his private secretary, but, although she gave the orders, the decisions were made by the king. In 1744, the main obstacle blocking her from King Louis XV’s bed was a rival named Madame de Chateauroux, who was already the apple of Louis’ eye. Thanks for your help! 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. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at email@example.com. It turns out that despite Madame de Pompadour’s reputation as a beautiful mistress, she didn’t actually have a voracious sexual appetite. Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? The ball celebrated the wedding of the Dauphin Louis to Maria Teresa of Spain, but for Louis, the main event was Madame de Pompadour. She fell to her knees and convulsed because the pain in her stomach was so intense. According to the gossip on the streets of France, Le Normant wasn’t just a family friend. Catherine of Aragon was King Henry VIII’s first wife and longest-lasting Queen of England. 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. She hosted an esteemed salon at Etiolles, her husband’s family’s estate, where she chatted with figures like the philosopher Voltaire. How did Pompadour catch the French king’s eye? She had three. It’s safe to say the people weren’t thrilled. After seven years of violence, the war ended but France had no reason to celebrate. Maurepas: 0. Such was Pompadour’s influence in Louis XV’s court that foreign diplomats often asked for her help with political negotiations. Madame de Pompadour got used to the fancy life pretty quickly. But even that wasn’t enough. The country had lost brutally, giving up their claim to territory in what is now the United States. When King Louis XV offered Charles a prestigious position as the French Ambassador to Turkey, Charles stunned everyone by refusing the appointment. Madame de Pompadour’s 20 years of power marked the very apogee of taste in France. 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. Pompadour was a bright child, but her reputation for being a witty woman didn’t truly emerge until she became a regular member of French salons. By the time Mademoiselle Poisson was of an age to marry, she could hold her own in any society and had made friends with many distinguished men, including Voltaire. Rich people have always done crazy stuff, and here’s proof: One of the ways that Louis and Pompadour would relax was by visiting their numerous little chalets and pretending to be poor. They thought that Pompadour was a power-hungry woman who manipulated the weakened king and used his melancholy moods to gain power. One of the most long-lasting aspects of Pompadour’s legacy is the hairstyle that bears her name. One historian said that Pompadour had so much sway that she was France’s de facto “prime minister.”. Madame de Pompadour was King Louis XV’s great love, but few people know she betrayed him with an utterly brutal act. He apparently modelled the decadent glass on the size and shape of his mistress’ breast. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. She purposefully rode in the king’s path several times and to make doubly sure that he couldn’t miss her, she wore differently colored outfits each time. Do you ever wonder how Paris got a reputation for being such a fancy, cultured place? Pompadour made her mark on French history not just as a mistress and a sly politician but a tastemaker. Madame de Pompadour’s shameless quest to get to the top of the French court didn’t always make her the most popular person in the room, but when she got on the wrong side of the Comte de Maurepas, she learned to regret it. Artistic and political collaboration with Louis, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jeanne-Antoinette-Poisson-marquise-de-Pompadour, The National Gallery, London - The Real Madame de Pompadour. Because of Pompadour’s disastrous involvement with the Seven Years War, she became the most hated woman in France. He even gave his cheating daughter-in-law his personal blessing to leave Charles and pursue the King. However, young Pompadour’s training wouldn’t last for long. Pompadour stayed at the palace. As the most commanding mistress in the French court, she bettered the lives of many and became a beloved figure…. This is the last portrait ever painted of her. Le Normant de Tournehem arranged a match for her with his own nephew, Charles-Guillaume Le Normant d’Étioles, a rising young man; they had a little girl, Alexandrine. At the time, this issue was incredibly volatile. There's something about the family structure that encourages secrets. In the French court, jealous courtiers coined a cruel phrase to insult Pompadour. Factinate is a fact website that is dedicated to finding and sharing fun facts about science, history, animals, films, people, and much more. 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. We want our readers to trust us. When Jeannette Poisson was young, she gained a suggestive nickname that would stay with her for the rest of her eventful life: Reinette, which means “little queen.” For anyone else, this moniker would be a coy joke, but not Madame de Pompadour. How did she gain the eye of the king? Rival courtiers interpreted Louis’ love for his mistress not as genuine affection, but as weakness. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. Amid all Madame de Pompadour’s missteps, she and the king really did share a deep connection. Their purple uniforms gained them the nickname the “Pompadours” apparently because it had been her favorite color. 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. Additionally, he is an accomplished scriptwriter, having written the successful AA Meeting series for the stage and the award-winning film Depth of Pyaar. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. Although the king deeply grieved at Pompadour’s death, court protocol forbade him from attending her funeral. Pompadour was deeply offended by Maurepas’ cruel poem and she used her significant power to make her enemy regret his words. She miscarried her and the king’s child every single time. However, shortly after Pompadour’s death, the king betrayed his great love in two brutal ways. Pompadour gave the queen a golden snuffbox that Louis had originally given to Pompadour. King Louis XV may have commissioned the “marquise cut” diamond as a scandalous homage to his beloved mistress. Naturally, she tried to prevent Louis from getting too close to Pompadour. Although our doors have temporarily closed, it's still possible to book tickets for visits from 3 December onwards. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? He interpreted the offer not as an olive branch but a convenient way to get him away from France, so that Pompadour and Louis could enjoy their affair without his lurking presence. More scandalously, during her time as Louis XV’s mistress, she staged over a hundred plays at Versailles. Madame d’Étioles became a shining star of Parisian society and was admired by the king himself. In reality, Pompadour just accepted the king’s side pieces. But in order to do so, Le Normant ruthlessly removed all his other nieces and nephews from his will. We can assume that Louis appreciated her suggestive clothing. Pompadour knew this was a crucial moment for her budding political prowess, but she had no idea that her actions would have utterly disastrous consequences. It rained heavily on the day that Pompadour’s coffin left the palace. When he nursed his wounds, he imitated his enemy, the King, by enjoying several affairs. The esteemed diplomat Wenzel Anton Graf Kaunitz requested Pompadour’s assistance with the seminal 1756 Treaty of Versailles. This is the entrancing tale of Madame de Pompadour. She was just 42 years old, but she had lived a hundred lives in her short time on Earth. In time, he got the happy ending he wanted when he settled down with a famous dancer. Jeanne Poisson received her now famous name Madame de Pompadour as a gift from her sugar daddy, King Louis XV. Pompadour was deeply engaged in arts and culture, and one of her project was editing the first French Encyclopedia by her frenemy Diderot and his co-writer d’Alembert. She suffered multiple miscarriages, her childhood bout with whooping cough had weakened her, and she always seemed to have a cold or bronchitis. She was soon replaced by Madame d’Étioles, who obtained a legal separation from her husband and was created marquise de Pompadour. There are numerous portraits of Madame de Pompadour—but only one reveals her darkest secret. Thanks for your time! I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life. She quickly got her lover King Louis to exile her enemy Maurepas. After Pompadour’s death, tributes poured in from all over France. The couple would travel to one of their many countryside estates, go hunting, walk around nature, and live the simple life. Meet extraordinary women who dared to bring gender equality and other issues to the forefront. However, the “secret” staircase didn’t stay secret for long. Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 42 Deadly Facts About Madame de Montespan, The False Queen of France, The Truth Always Comes Out: Dark Family Secrets Exposed, Overheard Once, Forgotten Never: These Hurtful Comments Are Completely Brutal, Lawyers Reveal Their Most Jaw-Dropping Court Cases, Beneath His Debonair Surface, Cary Grant Led A Twisted Life, These Nightmare Weddings Made Us Say “I DON’T!”, These Mortifying Mistakes Make Us Want To Hit “Undo”, Over My Dead Body: These Outrageous Funerals Prove Drama Never Dies, Wild Facts About Howard Hughes, The Most Eccentric Man In Hollywood, These Ultra-Spoiled Brats Made Our Eyes Roll Into Our Heads, More People Need To Know About Nell Gwyn, England’s X-Rated Cinderella. This was a statesmanlike conception, but it was unpopular and led to the Seven Years’ War, disastrous to France. Pompadour pops up in all sorts of places. Honestly, I should be mad, but I’m just impressed. But after her death, the truth came out: Her so-called friend hated her guts. Pompadour wouldn’t just marry anyone; she’d marry a loaded young man. Pompadour’s dear friend Voltaire told her about the miscarriage of justice, leading Pompadour to intervene. Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? These ministers would implement reforms to France’s infrastructure, trade, and taxes which would eventually lead to France becoming “the richest nation in the world.”. It didn’t take long for the king’s mistress to die. The protector of most of the authors and the editor of the Encyclopédie, she would have liked to do for literature what she did for the arts, but the king had no literary interests and disliked the intellectuals whom he knew. Madame de Pompadour was the long-standing mistress of King Louis XV of France. The political collaboration between the king and his mistress was much less successful than the artistic, mainly because the French politicians and generals of the day were of such poor calibre. She commissioned two wildly expensive sculptures of…herself. Please submit feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. But the reason for their abstinence was so shocking that it’s impossible to forget. As we’ll see, she would hold incredible power in the French court, effectively reigning even if she didn’t have a crown. Apparently, Charles was absolutely besotted with his new bride. In this portrait, the last ever painted of her, she is presented as a respectable, cultured, middle-aged woman, who gazes confidently at the viewer. However, their relationship was completely cordial, if the accounts are to be believed. 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. Pompadour was also whip smart. Here’s the thing: Pompadour wasn’t crazy for setting her sights on the king. Of course, once inside their humble abode, all the “rustic” jugs and bowls were actually made of incredibly expensive materials. Kyle Climans has been a published writer since 2011. And as though that’s not bad enough, some historians believe the poem had an even crueller meaning. 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. While this claim could very well be idle speculation or even slander against Pompadour, it would explain Le Normant’s strangely generous treatment of the young girl…. All Rights Reserved. This alliance was the reason that France entered the brutal Seven Years’ War. At the ball, he unmasked himself to her and publicly declared his affection for Madame de Pompadour. Pompadour won over her rival with a series of risky actions. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Eight years older than he, she was preoccupied with the welfare of her father (a deposed king of Poland), with childbearing, and with religion. At the time, failure to pay debts carried the death penalty. In 1764, Madame de Pompadour began to feel unwell. She even went on a bizarre celery, truffle, and vanilla diet to try to feel more “in the mood.” Unsurprisingly, this nauseating combination of flavors did not end up doing anything to help the royal mistress feel randy. Frederick the Great crushed the huge, incompetently led French and Austrian armies, while the English were driving the French out of Canada. In those days rich men, even if they came from a low class, were interested in art and literature, and they expected their wives to share these interests. But sadly, there was one thing they’re never share: a child. You can bet that didn’t go down well in the Tourneham family. From the get go, she said she’d never leave her husband…except for one man: the King. One of Madame de Pompadour’s final acts was also one of her most noble. In 1750, the public began to pressure King Louis XV to clean up his act, get rid of his mistresses, and live as a good Christian ruler. For a time, Pompadour returned his passion. For real. The French court was full of backstabbing and in-fighting, and poor Madame de Pompadour had it worse than most people. Unfortunately, Pompadour passed away before construction could be finished. Over time, her artistry became part of her identity so much that a shade of pink was called “Pompadour Pink.”. Their jibes were so numerous that the nation had a specific term for attacks on Pompadour: These insults were called “poissonades” in a reference to her last name, the common “Poisson” aka “fish.”. Image: Detail form François-Hubert Drouais, Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame, 1763-4. With that done, she made Louis give his wife’s apartments a stylish renovation. Frankly, though, he should’ve counted himself lucky. 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. Pompadour’s enemies immediately pounced on the opportunity to malign her. In 1744 Louis XV’s young mistress, the duchesse de Châteauroux, died suddenly. Shy and introspective, he had difficulty in communicating with people whom he did not know well. Just five years into their relationship, they stopped making love. When Madame de Pompadour moved into Versailles, she lived in a room directly above King Louis XV, but apparently, even that wasn’t close enough for the king. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In 1745, one piece of paper would change Pompadour’s life forever. Pompadour had a stunning figure, and her face was even more eye-catching. Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, marquise de Pompadour. In one of her more recent appearances in pop culture, Pompadour showed up as a character in the Doctor Who episode “The Girl in the Fireplace.” The episode follows the Doctor jumping in and out of Pompadour’s life in order to save her from a group of aliens. The answer is simple: She was beautiful. Marie could hardly have been a more unsuitable wife for the handsome, artistic, sensual, and pleasure-loving Louis XV. He was actually Pompadour’s biological father. But what do we really know about this fascinating woman? However, her husband, Charles Guillaume le Normant, didn’t feel the same. She was an important patron of the arts whose commissions supported painters, writers, and porcelain artisans. Though, to be fair, she wasn’t this nice to all religious minorities. After giving birth to an heir to the throne (and eight or nine other children between 1727 and 1737), she let the king understand that she had no wish to remain sexually intimate with him. The following year Mme de Pompadour had Stainville appointed ambassador to the Vatican, where he persuaded Pope Benedict XIV to help reduce the tensions within the French church between the Gallicans (who favoured independence…. 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. According to one long-standing legend, Louis XV based the shape of the French champagne glass, also known as the coupe, on a scandalous part of his mistress. Madame de Pompadour was the long-standing mistress of King Louis XV of France. She was no longer the young beauty that Louis had originally fallen in love with, but she was still his friend, confidante and, more dangerously for France, his political adviser. Madame d’Étioles became a shining star of Parisian society and was admired by the king himself. In June 1745, she became the Marquise of the estate called Pompadour. However, Pompadour’s enemies weren’t as enamoured with her as the French king. The Petit Trianon went on to serve as home base to Pompadour’s successor in the royal bed, Madame du Barry. Luckily, Pompadour wasn’t just pretty, she was smart too. But some say he didn’t do so just out of the goodness of his heart…, Because of Le Normant de Tournehem’s devotion and care for Pompadour, a dark rumor emerged. Although Louis’s son, daughters, and wife supported the Jesuits, Madame de Pompadour did not. Pompadour began a controversial trend. Pompadour is played by Sophia Myles, who bizarrely kept her British accent for the role. Madame de Pompadour didn’t just share King Louis XV‘s bed, she also shared his power. From 1755 to 1881, the British Army had a regiment called the 56th Regiment of Foot, also known as the West Essex. 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. Apparently, when he heard that she was planning to leave him, he fell to the ground in shock. Pompadour either meant that whatever happens after Louis doesn’t matter, or far more darkly, that everything will collapse after his reign. They had two children together, but tragically, both of them died while they were still very young. Louis passed a bill that suppressed Jesuits, a rising Christian group. But who was the real Pompadour, and how did she become one of the most powerful women in 18th-century France? Later on, she revealed the chilling reason for her acquiescence…. He adored his bride and was deeply upset that she’d set her sights on another. She began to train her daughter for one purpose and one purpose alone: to be the king’s ideal mistress. Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, marquise de Pompadour, byname Madame de Pompadour, also called (1741–45) Jeanne-Antoinette Le Normant d’Étioles, (born Dec. 29, 1721, Paris, France—died April 15, 1764, Versailles), influential mistress (from 1745) of the French king Louis XV and a notable patron of literature and the arts. But holding back didn’t satisfy a girl like Pompadour.