The Blonde Odalisque

Louis XV's mistress

Francois Boucher's portrait of Marie louise O' Murphy
Portrait of Marie-Louise O'Murphy, 1751

The blonde odalisque is the title of two paintings by François Boucher. One dates from 1751 and is currently in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, the other was painted in 1752 and is in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. The model seems to be Marie-Louise O'Murphy, who was Louis XV's mistress during a span of two years.

Enchantress of the Rococo era

François Boucher (1703 - 1770) was a French painter, draftsman and etcher practicing the Rococo style. He is known for his romantic and lush paintings of classic subjects, decorative allegories and picturesque scenes. Arguably the most renowned painter and designer of the 18th century, his name, along with his patroness Madame de Pompadour, is synonymous with the French Rococo style.

What's the meaning of Odalisque ?

Odalisque (rarely Odalique) is an English and French expression originating from the Turkish "oda", meaning "chamber"; an odalisque initially referred to a chambermaid or servant. In Occidental use, the word refers to the harem concubine.

Boucher is one of those men who represents, expresses, and embodies the taste of a century.*Goncourt Brothers

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