Mozart &
Material Culture


Mistress of Louis XV 1745-1751, influential at the French court and a patron of the arts; she had married the financier Charles Guillaume Le Normant d'Étoiles (8 May 1717-18 March 1799) in 1741.

Boucher, Madame Pompadour 1756.jpg

François Boucher, Madame Pompadour, 1756 (Munich, BayerischeStaatsgemäldesammlungen)

Mozart Relevance

The Mozarts first mention Madame de Pompadour during their visit to Versailles in December 1763; Leopold describes her in a letter from Paris of 1 February 1764:

  1. I expect you’d like to know what Madame Marquise Pampadour [Pompadour] looks like, wouldn’t you? – – She must once have been very beautiful since she’s still attractive. She’s tall and stately in her appearance, fat or, rather, plump, but very well proportioned and blonde and looks a lot like the late Tresel Freysauf [Freysauff, a Salzburg friend], while her eyes have a certain similarity to those of Her Majesty the Empress [Maria Theresia]. She does herself great credit and is exceptionally intelligent. Her apartments at Versailles, which look out on the gardens, are a veritable paradise; in Paris she has a magnificent mansion that’s been entirely rebuilt in the Faubourg St Honoré. In the room that contains the clavecin |: which is all gilt and most elaborately lacquered and painted :| there’s a life-size portrait of her and next to it a portrait of the king.
Date 1
1721-12-29 , Paris
Date 2
1764-04-15, Paris
Location (Mozart)