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Original works of art

Jacques-Barthélemy Delamarre
(French, 18th Century )

Jacques-Barthélemy Delamarre was known for his portraits of Marie Antoinette’s favorite toy dogs – his best-known composition depicting the dogs with a quill pen and stationery on a writing desk, to illustrate their small stature. He painted many versions of this composition, which is sometimes called “Pompon, Chien de Marie-Antoinette.”

Most of the versions he painted are similar in size but there are many variations of the desk accessories. For example, a few show a stick of red wax sealing envelopes.

Marie Antionette had several of which appeared to be toy dog during her reign (1774-1793). Their fur was always groomed like a Poodle, furled and trimmed, and they were all named “Pompon.” A special office was created in the Queen’s Court and a courtier was assigned responsibility for supplying fresh spring chicken meat to Pompon's “table” daily.

Little is known of Delamarre’s further artistic career except that he was accepted into Parisian Academie Saint-Luc in 1777.


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