Madame de Pompadour

Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise of Pompadour known as Madame de Pompadour, was a member of the French court. She was the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to 1751, remained influential as court favourite until her death. Pompadour took charge of the king's schedule and was a valued aide and advisor, despite her frail health and many political enemies, she secured titles of nobility for herself and her relatives, built a network of clients and supporters. She was careful not to alienate the Queen, Marie Leszczyńska. On 8 February 1756, the Marquise de Pompadour was named as the thirteenth lady in waiting to the queen, a position considered the most prestigious at the court, which accorded her with honors. Pompadour was a major patroness of architecture and decorative arts porcelain, she was a patroness including Voltaire. Hostile critics at the time tarred her as a malevolent political influence, but historians are more favorable, emphasizing her successes as a patroness of the arts and a champion of French pride.

Art historian Melissa Hyde argues that the critiques of Pompadour were driven by fears over the overturning of social and gender hierarchies that Pompadour's power and influence, as a woman, not born into the aristocracy, represented. Jeanne Antoinette Poisson was born on 29 December 1721 in Paris to François Poisson and his wife Madeleine de La Motte, it is suspected that her biological father was either the rich financier Jean Pâris de Monmartel or the tax collector Charles François Paul Le Normant de Tournehem. Le Normant de Tournehem became her legal guardian when François Poisson was forced to leave the country in 1725 after a scandal over a series of unpaid debts, a crime at that time punishable by death. At age 5 Jeanne Antoinette was sent to receive the finest quality education of the day in an Ursuline convent in Poissy, where she gained admiration for her wit and charm. Due to poor health, thought to be whooping cough, Jeanne Antoinette returned home in January 1730 at age 9. During this time her mother took her to a fortuneteller, Madame de Lebon, who predicted that the girl would one day reign over the heart of a King.

Henceforth she became known as “Reinette”, meaning "little queen", was groomed to become the mistress of Louis XV. Tournehem arranged for Jeanne Antoinette to receive a private education at home with the best teachers of the day who taught her dancing, painting, theatre, the arts, the ability to memorize entire plays, it may have been this sponsoring of Jeanne Antoinette's education in particular that sparked rumors of his paternity to Poisson. At the age of nineteen, Jeanne Antoinette was married to Charles Guillaume Le Normant d'Étiolles, the nephew of her guardian, Charles Le Normant de Tournehem, who initiated the match and the large financial incentives that came with it. On 15 December 1740, Tournehem made his nephew his sole heir, disinheriting all his other nephews and nieces, the children of his brother and sister; these included the estate at Étiolles, a wedding gift from her guardian, situated on the edge of the royal hunting ground of the forest of Sénart. Once married, Le Normant d'Étiolles fell passionately in love with his wife, while she maintained that she would never leave him – except for the King.

The couple had a son who died in infancy and a daughter, Alexandrine Le Normant d'Étiolles, born in 1744, who died at the age of nine. Jeanne Antoinette's marital status allowed her to frequent celebrated salons in Paris, such as those hosted by Mesdames de Tencin, Geoffin, du Deffand, others. Within these salons she crossed paths with principal figures of the Enlightenment, including Voltaire, Charles Pinot Duclos, Helvétius, Bernard de Fontenelle. Additionally, Jeanne Antoinette created her own salon at Étiolles, attended by many of the cultural elite, among them were Crébillon fils, the Cardinal de Bernis, Voltaire. Within these circles she learned the fine art of conversation and developed the sharp wit for which she would become known at Versailles. Due to her involvement in Paris salons as well as her grace and beauty, Louis XV had heard the name of Jeanne Antoinette mentioned at court as early as 1742. In 1744, Jeanne Antoinette sought to catch the eye of the King while he led the hunt in the forest of Sénart.

Because she occupied an estate near this location she was permitted to follow the royal party at a distance. However, wanting to attract the King's notice, Jeanne Antoinette drove directly in front of the King's path, once in a pink phaeton, wearing a blue dress, once in a blue phaeton, wearing a pink dress; the King sent a gift of venison to her. Though the King's current mistress, Madame de Châteauroux, had warned off Jeanne Antoinette, the position became vacant on 8 December 1744 when Châteauroux died. On 24 February 1745, Jeanne Antoinette received a formal invitation to attend the masked ball held on February 25 at the Palace of Versailles to celebrate the marriage of the Dauphin Louis of France to Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain, it was at this ball that the King, disguised along with seven courtiers as a yew tree, publicly declared his affection for Jeanne Antoinette. Before all of court and the royal family, Louis unmasked himself before Jeanne Antoinette, dressed as Diana the Huntress, in reference to their encounter in the forest of Sénart.

By March, she was the king's mistress, installed at Versailles in an apartment directly above his. On 7 May, the official separation b

Helen West Heller

Helen West Heller was an American painter, printmaker and illustrator. Heller was born Helen Barnhart in Rushville, the daughter of a farmer, boat builder, decoy maker. Plagued by poor health throughout her life, she suffered as a result in school. In 1892 she moved to Chicago. In 1902 she moved to New York City, doing factory work and embroidery to support herself while taking lessons at the Art Students League of New York, she studied with Robert Henri and George Bellows at the Ferrer Center Modern School. In 1921 she returned to Chicago, bringing with her fifty paintings that excited no interest in the local artistic community, she cut her first woodcut two years later. Heller's poetry, attracted the attention of Jane Heap, between 1926 and 1928 she published a large number of works in journals and in the weekly Art Magazine of the Chicago Evening Post under the name "Tanka", she attempted to create a woodcut magazine, her success in poetry led her to illustrate a book of poems, Migratory Urge, with her own woodcuts.

Heller returned to New York City in 1932. During this phase of her career she produced paintings and murals for the Works Progress Administration. Heller became a good friend of Onya La Tour, an art collector and modern art enthusiast, who directed the Federal Art Gallery of the Federal Arts Project of the Work Projects Administration, 225 W 57th St, New York NY. A 1940 catalog of La Tour's collection lists 76 works by Heller. During the 1930's, Heller became active in Marxist causes. Heller lived independently for much of her life. In 1948 she was named an associate of the National Academy of Design, in 1944 and 1949 she received awards for her prints from the Library of Congress. A large collection of Heller's work is owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eight works are in the graphic arts collection at the National Museum of American History, donated by the artist herself after a 1949 show of 35 of her prints. Other examples of her art may be found at the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

A self-portrait of 1948, The Seasons, is held by the National Academy of Design. Images of Heller's work on AskArt

Jesse Hutch

Jesse Hutch is a Canadian-born film and television actor. He spends his time travelling between the Canada, he worked on the television show American Dreams as Jimmy Riley, romantic interest of main character Meg Pryor. In 2007, he played a major character on the Sci-Fi Channel TV-movie Termination Point. Most he had a recurring role in the second season of Arrow. Hutch grew up in various places across Canada, he attended an Outdoor Education Program at Algonquin College. He was a white water raft guide for 4 years before beginning to pursue a career as an actor, he first appeared in character roles in productions such as Dark Angel and Taken. His lead role in the series About a Girl aired on The N network. In 2010, Hutch guest starred on The CW Freshmen Hit Drama Hellcats. Jesse Hutch on IMDb