Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Other Degree Name/Area of Focus
Department or School/College
School of Art
H. Rafael Chacon
Ione Crummy, Valerie Hedquist
French, mistress, monarchy, portrait
University of Montana
This thesis explores the development in the pictorial representation of four important French royal mistresses. It looks at works depicting Agnès Sorel, mistress to Charles VII; Diane de Poitiers, mistress to Henri II; Gabrielle d’Estrées, mistress to Henri IV; and Madame de Pompadour, mistress to Louis XV. By placing the portrayals of these women within a historical context, it becomes apparent that there are links between the strength of the crown and the depictions of the mistresses. This thesis traces the development of the imagery associated with these women and demonstrates that as the crown became more and more powerful, the portraits of the kings’ mistresses became bolder and less disguised.
Lemperle, Shandy April, "Kings and Courtesans: A Study of the Pictorial Representation of French Royal Mistresses" (2008). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 1258.
© Copyright 2008 Shandy April Lemperle