Madame de Pompadour at the Legion of Honor: Power, Patronage, and Portraiture
Carle Vanloo, Music, 1752–1753. Oil on canvas, 34 1/2 x 33 1/4 in. (87.6 x 84.5 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Mildred Anna Williams Collection, 1950.12
In anticipation of the Legion of Honor centennial in 2024, we invite you to join curators of the European art department as we explore the fascinating life of Madame de Pompadour (1721–1764), mistress to the French king Louis XV. Pompadour was the ultimate pre–French Revolution patron as a major supporter of artists, designers, and manufacturers of the eighteenth century. Through the lens of female patronage and power as defined by the limitations at the time, interim curator in charge Martin Chapman and curatorial assistants Isabella Holland and Thomas Wu of the European art department will lead a presentation on Madame de Pompadour and artworks associated with her image in the Legion of Honor’s collection. Following the discussion, Chapman, Holland, and Wu will join members for a live Q&A.
About the Speakers
Martin Chapman is interim curator in charge of European art and curator in charge of European decorative arts and sculpture for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. In this position, he has organized many exhibitions and accompanying publications, most recently East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from The Al Thani Collection (2018), The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin (2017), and Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House (2014–2015). In the Legion of Honor’s permanent collection, he spearheaded the renovation of the Salon Doré from the Hôtel de La Trémoille between 2010 and 2014.
Isabella Holland is curatorial assistant of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She received her master’s degree in the history of art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, where her dissertation focused on art and education for the working classes in Victorian London.
Thomas Wu is curatorial assistant of European decorative arts and sculpture at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He received his master’s degree in the history of art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, where he wrote his dissertation on the thematic decoration of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Sèvres porcelain dinner services.
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