Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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Although the grandest of the many portraits of Madame de Pompadour, this is also the most naturalistic image of her, which avoids the rigid formality or mythological trappings of much court portraiture. The former mistress of Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour had become an international celebrity by the end of her life, when this portrait was painted. However, she is presented here in her apartment at Versailles as an almost matronly figure embodying bourgeois virtue and industry as she works at a tapestry accompanied by one of her dogs. She was an important patron of the fine, applied and performing arts and a leader of taste in matters of fashion and style, particularly the Rococo style. The objects around her testify to her interest in the arts and literature.

The National Gallery, London



Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame




Oil on canvas


H 217 x W 156.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1977

Work type



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