Madame de Pompadour by Carlo Nicoli

Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour (29 December 1721 – 15 April 1764), commonly known as Madame de Pompadour, was a member of the French court and was the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to 1751, and remained influential as court favourite until her death. She took charge of the king’s schedule and was a valued aide and advisor. She secured titles of nobility for herself and her relatives, and built a network of clients and supporters. On February 8, 1756, the Marquise de Pompadour was named as the thirteenth lady in waiting to the queen, a position considered the most prestigious at the court, which accorded her with honors.
Pompadour was a major patroness of architecture and decorative arts, especially porcelain. She was a patroness of the philosophes of the Enlightenment, including Voltaire. Historians emphasizing her successes as a patroness of the arts and a champion of French pride.
The bust is signed « C. NICOLI 1889 » standing for Carlo Nicoli (1843 – 1915). Carlo Nicoli, pupil of Giovanni Duprè, was one of the most successful artists working in Florence and Carrara during the mid- to late 19th century. In 1863 he founded what will become the most important Studio of the 19th century in the center of Carrara at « la Piazza XVII Aprile ».
Born in Carrara, Nicoli went on to carve out an international career for himself, creating sculptures for as far afield as Britain, Australia, South Africa, Mexico and Argentina. For his Watchful Angel or Innocence of 1870 Nicoli received a medal from King Alfonso XIII of Spain. A major work by Nicoli in the United Kingdom is his marble statue of Queen Victoria in Brighton, executed in 1897. Nicoli was clearly a popular sculptor among royal sitters; a bust of Princess Elena of Montenegro has been recorded in the collection of the Quirinale in Rome. Carlo Nicoli’s studio survives to this day in Carrara and has UNESCO recognition.
Height : 97 cm
Base : 24 x 27 cm

White Carrara marble.

1889

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