Marie-Louise O’Murphy – François Boucher

Marie-Louise O’Murphy - François Boucher



Marie-Louise O’Murphy (born October 21, 1737 in Rouen, † December 11, 1814 in Paris) was a courtesan and mistress of the French king Louis XV. She was the fifth daughter of an ex-Irish soldier who had settled in Rouen as a shoemaker. After his death, the mother moved to Paris with the children, where she worked as a used clothing retailer, while her daughters worked as actresses or models.

In 1751/52, when Marie-Louise was just 14, she was the naked model for François Boucher, who painted two oil paintings of her. The Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud in Cologne noted for his picture Resting Girl (Marie-Louise O’Murphy): "The first pin-up girl." introduced. She became one of the king's mistresses and soon gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Agathe Louise de Saint-Antoine (1754–1774). The General de Beaufranchet may also come from the relationship, but this has never been proven beyond any doubt. After being a mistress for two years, around 1754 she tried to oust the king's mighty favorite courtesan, Madame de Pompadour. She lost this power struggle, was married to a noble and removed from the court. As a result, she found more lovers in the courtly environment, but never rose to her previous status.

Marie-Louise O'Murphy married Jacques de Beaufranchet in 1755, with whom she had the son Louis Charles Antoine de Beaufranchet. In 1759 she married Francois Nicolas Le Normant and in 1798 finally Louis-Philippe Dumont, 30 years his junior, the deputy of the Calvados department in the National Convention, from whom she was divorced in the same year. During the French Revolution, she was briefly detained because of her connection to the royal family.

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