The Comtesse du Barry (1743-1793) started working in a milliner's shop at the age of sixteen, but became the mistress of Louis XV from 1768 until his death in 1774.
Portrait bust of Madame Du Barry by Etienne Pierre Adrien Gois, 1770
© The Bowes Museum
- 54 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £10,000 ( Total: £45,000)
- Acquired in:
- Lucerne Gallery
She was condemned to death and guillotined in 1793. Louis XV commissioned two marble portrait busts of himself from Gois and this portrait bust of his mistress was probably a private commission or a pendant to a bust of Louis. While at Court, Madame du Barry redecorated her apartment at Versailles in the latest fashionable taste. Her building work at Louveciennes, her encouragement of the Neo-Classical style and her individual commissions to many artists and manufacturers made her an important patron of the arts.
European private collection; D.Barclay, The Lucerne Gallery.