Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) will be in France in Outlander season 2. There, they will live in the sophisticated Court of Louis XV in Versailles trying to stop the imminent Battle of Culloden, final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745. Jamie Fraser’s wife is pretty and elegant, no doubt. But what kind of women will they meet in Versailles? Today, nine things about Madame de Pompadour (29 December 1721 – 15 April 1764).
She was the official chief mistress of King Louis XV of France from 1745 to her death. A very intelligent woman who was a valued aide for the king.
She built a network of clients, and was a patron of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, including Voltaire.
She was also a patron of architecture and decorative arts, with a good eye for Rococo interiors. She was responsible for the development of the manufactory of Sèvres, which became one of the most famous porcelain manufacturers in Europe providing skilled jobs to the region.
She planned buildings like the Place de la Concorde and the Petit Trianon with her brother, the Marquis de Marigny.
She also had a keen interest in literature, and discreetly endorsed Diderot’s Encyclopédie project.
Numerous artisans, sculptors and painters were supported by her, among them the court artist Jean-Marc Nattier, in the 1750s Francois Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Réveillon and Francois-Hubert Drouais.
She was particularly careful not to alienate the Queen, Marie Leszczyńska, and in fact they were friends.
She was handsome but had a delicate health. Will she need Claire’s help?
Unfriendly critics at the time generally tarred her as a malevolent political influence, but historians are a much more favorable opinion.
What do you think? Will Claire be comfortable at Louis XV Court?
Enjoy your day, Yareah friends. Art is everywhere and up to you!