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Discover how technology is being used to enhance our understanding of art history and enjoy Francois Boucher's famous portrait of Madame de Pompadour as it would have been known in the 19th century.

François Boucher’s famous portrait of Madame de Pompadour (1756) is today one of the most prized paintings on display at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, yet this monumental portrait was once owned by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild. Either before or shortly after he acquired it in 1887, the portrait was re-framed, and when he died, Ferdinand bequeathed the painting to his brother Nathaniel. While the canvas eventually found its way to Germany, the impressive 18th-century frame was retained and ended up at Waddesdon Manor.

Now, thanks to a collaboration with Factum Foundation, specialists in high-resolution digital scanning technology, and with the support of the Alte Pinakothek, this new exhibition will recreate the masterpiece as it would have been known in the 19th century by Baron Ferdinand. In a marriage of traditional conservation and restoration techniques with the most advanced 3D digital reproduction technology, it will place a facsimile of the portrait back in Baron Ferdinand’s frame, which has been conserved especially for the show.

Visitors will be able to explore for themselves other digital and 3D reproductions in touch displays, and a film will illustrate Factum Foundation’s process of re-creating Madame de Pompadour. The exhibition will also explore the historical connection between the Madame de Pompadour painting and frame and Waddesdon and the Rothschild family. A particular highlight will be a 1757 Charles-Germain de Saint-Aubin caricature from a unique book of satirical cartoons, which is seldom on display.


Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH

01296 820414


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