Driving ambition was her central motivation but always tempered by sensibility and finesse.
Mme. de Pompadour (1721-1764) was a mistress of Louis XV for about five years after 1745, and remained his confidant until her death. She owed her success to her intelligence and capabilities. She hired artists to decorate her residences and encouraged domestic industry and theater. Her skill in entertaining the king was prodigious. She was also a major figure in French politics. There was never another like her.