Pompadour, Jane, Antoinette, Poisson

, marchioness of, the celebrated mistress- of Louis XV. was the daughter of a financier, and early distinguished by the beauty of her person, and the elegance of her talents. She was married to a M. d’Etioles when she attracted the notice of the king, and becoming his mistress, was created marchioness of Pompadour in 1745. Her credit was abundant, and she employed it Chiefly in the patronage of talents, in all branches of the polite arts. She collected also a cabinet of books, pictures, and various curiosities. She died in 1764, at the age of forty-four; and, it is said, with much more resignation than could have been expected of a person so little advanced in years, and so situated. Two spurious works hate been attributed to her since her death, the one, a set of “Memoirs,” in two volumes, 8vo the other, a collection of “Letters,” in three volumes, which have at least the merit of painting her character with skill. The memoirs attribute to her, in conformity with the popular ideas, much more influence than she actually possessed. 3


Dict. Hist. in art. Poisswi.