Portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour (1755). Maurice-Quentin Delatour (French, Rococo, 1704-1788). Pastel with gouache highlights on at least eight sheets of blue paper including one for the face, glued to canvas on a stretcher. Paris, Musée du Louvre.
The sudden death of the Duchesse de Châteauroux in 1744 left the king without a mistress, and Jeanne-Antoinette obtained the position in 1745. A poem by Voltaire suggests that Louis XV seduced Jeanne-Antoinette – who did not yet hold the title Marquise de Pompadour – at a costumed ball at Versailles.