Happy Birthday Madame de Pompadour!! Born today in 1721, Frenchwoman, Jeanne Antoinette Poisson was not only known as an accomplished engraver, but also important art patron and mistress to the King. Although from a poor family, she was refined and educated in culture and the arts, marrying at 17, establishing herself as an engraver, and founding her own salon for intellectuals including Voltaire, at Etoilles. However after attending a masked ball, it is said she caught the eye of King Louis XV and became his mistress. He installed her as Marqius de Pompadour by purchasing the Pompadour Estate for her in 1745. As Royal Mistress to the King, Mme. Pompadour was responsible for bringing art into the palace, installing a royal sculptors and portrait artists, introducing Rococo intricacies to the décor, and hosting plays and concerts. The rather controversial figure died at age 42 from tuberculosis. The portrait of Madame de Pompadour, below was painted by Francios Boucher in 1750.