Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson) soup tureen

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  • Catalogue Essay

    Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson) was an unflappable force within the court of Louis XV. The French beauty’s early exercises in self-promotion landed her the position of maîtresse en titre, the chief royal mistress at court. Portraits of this Madame by Francois Boucher, her painter of choice, depicted a cunning arts patron. Such depictions came to surprising fruition in 1756 when, after her partnership with Louis XV ended, she maintained her courtly position through the takeover of a previously failing porcelain factory. She flipped the firm just a few years later in a sale directly to the royal court. In 1988 as she began her history portraits, Cindy Sherman started to devise this service-set that was inspired by designs of Madame de Pompadour’s factory in Vincennes. Like that 18th-century ingénue, Sherman sported a powdered wig and flamboyant costume —as well as prosthetic breasts— in this reminder of the historical figure’s astonishing shrewdness and critique upon complicity in the commodification of one’s own body.

  • Artist Bio

    Cindy Sherman

    American • 1954

    Seminal to the Pictures Generation as well as contemporary photography and performance art, Cindy Sherman is a powerhouse art practitioner.  Wily and beguiling, Sherman's signature mode of art making involves transforming herself into a litany of characters, historical and fictional, that cross the lines of gender and culture. She startled contemporary art when, in 1977, she published a series of untitled film stills.

    Through mise-en-scène​ and movie-like make-up and costume, Sherman treats each photograph as a portrait, though never one of herself. She embodies her characters even if only for the image itself. Presenting subversion through mimicry, against tableaus of mass media and image-based messages of pop culture, Sherman takes on both art history and the art world.

    Though a shape-shifter, Sherman has become an art world celebrity in her own right. The subject of solo retrospectives across the world, including a blockbuster showing at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and a frequent exhibitor at the Venice Biennale among other biennials, Sherman holds an inextricable place in contemporary art history.

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108

Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson) soup tureen

1990
Porcelain soup tureen in three parts, with screenprinted elements, hand-painting in platinum and glaze.
12 x 21 3/4 x 14 in. (30.5 x 55.2 x 35.6 cm)
Each element with printed signature and numbered '13 j 25' in black glaze (there were four editions of 25 in pink, green, blue and yellow), published by Artes Magnus, New York.

Estimate
$8,000 - 12,000 

sold for $10,000

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+1 212 940 1222
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Kip Eischen
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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24 April 2018