known as Madame de Pompadour
Madame de Pompadour, detail of a portrait by François Boucher; in the National Gallery of elipsis
(born Dec. 29, 1721, Paris, France—died April 15, 1764, Versailles) French mistress of Louis XV
. Educated in art and literature, she married Charles-Guillaume Le Normant d'Étoiles in 1741 and became admired by Parisian society and by the king, who installed her at Versailles as his mistress in 1745. She obtained a separation from her husband and was created marchioness de Pompadour. She, the king, and her brother, appointed director of the king's buildings, planned and built the École Militaire and the Place de la Concorde in Paris, the Petit Trianon Palace at Versailles, and many other buildings. She and Louis also encouraged painters, sculptors, and craftsmen, making her 20 years in power the height of artistic taste. Her political influence was less astute; the alliance with Austria against the German Protestant princes that she urged led to the disastrous Seven Years' War
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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.