Madame du Barry

Image: Chateau de Pompadour, Limousin, France.


rose du Barry noun (variants: or rose Pompadour)

Definition of rose du Barry

: an opaque pink ceramic overglaze color developed in France during the 18th century

First Known Use of rose du Barry

1847, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rose du Barry


“rose du barry probably from French, from Marie Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry †1793 mistress of King Louis XV of France; rose pompadour probably from French, from Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour †1764 mistress of King Louis XV of France

A soft shade of pink originally developed (1757) for use as a ground colour on Sèvres porcelain.

Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881), prime minister and novelist. Either from rose + the name of the Comtesse du Barry, mistress to Louis XV from the late 1760s and a patron of the Sèvres porcelain factory, or from French Rose du Barry.”

From Wikipedia:

“Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry (19 August 1743 – 8 December 1793) was the last Maîtresse-en-titre of Louis XV of France and one of the victims of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.

As reflected in art from the time, Jeanne was a remarkably attractive blonde woman with thick golden ringlets and almond-shaped blue eyes. Her beauty came to the attention of Jean-Baptiste du Barry, a high-class pimp/procurer nicknamed le roué. Du Barry owned a casino, and Jeanne came to his attention in 1763 when she was entertaining in Madame Quisnoy’s brothel-casino. She introduced herself as Jeanne Vaubernier. Du Barry installed her in his household and made her his mistress. Giving her the appellation of Mademoiselle Lange, Du Barry helped establish Jeanne’s career as a courtesan in the highest circles of Parisian society; this enabled her to take several aristocratic men, even courtiers, as brief lovers or clients.

Jeanne could not qualify as a maîtresse-en-titre unless she had a title; however after divulging with the king that Jeanne was nothing but a harlot, the king ordered that Jeanne be wedded to a man of strong lineage so she may be brought to court as per protocol. This was solved by her marriage on 1 September 1768 to du Barry’s brother, Comte Guillaume du Barry. The marriage ceremony included a false birth certificate created by Jean du Barry himself, making Jeanne younger by three years and of fictitious noble descent.

Eventually, during a ball on New Year’s Day 1772, Marie Antoinette spoke indirectly to Du Barry by casually observing “There are many people at Versailles today,” giving her the option to respond or not.

Her last words to the executioner are said to have been: «De grâce, monsieur le bourreau, encore un petit moment!» – “One more moment, Mr. Executioner, I beg you!” She was buried in the Madeleine Cemetery, like many others executed during the Terror—including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.”

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