Here, the marquise de Pompadour, a great patron of the arts, is depicted beside a writing and toilette table that conveys luxury and taste. Similar to the Getty model, the table was made by the same cabinetmaker, Jean-François Oeben.

During this period novel furniture like this piece appear prominently in portraits of elite society, reflecting furniture's importance. As domestic interiors in the 1700s became smaller and more specific in function, intimacy and comfort reigned supreme, and furniture followed suit. Taste was largely set by marchands-merciers (dealers in luxury goods), who had the greatest share of the retail market. Often designing their wares, these dealers commissioned craftsmen to produce fashionable, increasingly novel furnishings.

marquise de Pompadour / Guerin The marquise de Pompadour and her daughter, Alexandrine
Engraving after François Guérin (active 1751-1791)
About 1763
Research Library, The Getty Research Institute