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Portrait of Louise Francoise de Bourbon, Circle of Francois de Troy

Portrait of Louise Francoise de Bourbon, Circle of Francois de Troy


Circa 1695 France

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Height 22 1/2 inches (57.15 cm)
Width 19 inches (48.26 cm)
Depth 3 inches (7.62 cm)

Dimensions refer to size of frame.

This intimate portrait study of Louise Francoise de Bourbon is taken from a three-quarter length portrait completed by François de Troy around 1690. At this time King James II was in exile at Saint-Germain-en-Laye and de Troy became the principal painter to the court. He was subsequently appointed a Professor in 1698 and later Director of the Academie Royale. His skill as an engraver meant he enjoyed wide-reaching influence in artistic circles, which led to his portrait work being circulated even more widely. This particular portrait would more than likely have been produced for a friend or member of court. At present it forms part of the collections at Versailles.

The eldest surviving legitimised daughter of Louis XIV of France and his mistress, Madame de Montespan, Louise Francoise de Bourbon was said to have been named after her godmother, Louise de La Vallière, the woman who had preceded her mother as the king’s mistress. Although she had been known at court as Mademoiselle de Nantes, she became known as Madame la Duchesse after her marriage at the age of eleven, a title which she kept as a widow. She was also Duchess of Bourbon and Princess of Condé. The Cabale de Meudon were a group of people who centred on Louis, le Grand Dauphin who was also her older half-brother, and in an attempt to ingratiate herself with the new king she became a leading member of the group. Her son, Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon, became Prime Minister of France and during this time she tried to further her political influence but without much success.

Her beauty resulted in her having a turbulent love life and during the reign of her father Louis XIV she was often embroiled in scandal. In her later life, with the wealth she had accumulated through heavy investment in the Système de Law, she built the Palais Bourbon in Paris, which today is the seat of the National Assembly of France.

Private Collection, England

Reference 1056

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