Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Francoise de Maintenon

signature image

Unknown artist. Françoise d'Aubigné Maintenon, n.d.

Francoise de Maintenon
b. 1635, Niort, France; d. 1719, Saint-Cyr, France

Born in a prison and passed from relative to relative, Françoise de Maintenon eventually came under the guardianship of the invalid author Paul Scarron. They married in 1652 and she cared for him until his death in 1660. Meanwhile, the marriage launched her into French literary society; as hostess of his salons, she met many powerful figures, including King Louis XIV. Soon after Françoise was widowed, the king placed her in charge of his children by a mistress, Madame de Montespan. She was then appointed lady-in-waiting to Queen Maria Theresa. After the queen's death in 1680, Françoise secretly married Louis XIV and exerted behind-the-scenes influence on his rule, though how much is unclear.

Related Place Setting

Mary Wollstonecraft

Related Heritage Floor Entries

Josefa Amar
Bridget Bevan
Isabella Bishop
Jeanne Campan
Elizabeth Carter
Charlotte Corday
Leonor D'Almeida
Yekaterina Dashkova
Olympe de Gouges
Marie de Lafayette
Théroigne de Mericourt
Jeanne de Pompodour
Germaine de Staël
Celia Fiennes
Elizabeth Hamilton
Mary Hays
Mary Manley

Mary Monckton
Elizabeth Montagu
Mary Wortley Montague
Hannah More
Suzanne Necker
Ida Pfieffer
Karoline Pichler
Mary Radcliffe
Jeanne Manon Roland
Alison Rutherford
Caroline Schlegel
Mary Shelley
Hester Stanhope
Marie Tussaud
Rachel Varnhagen
Elizabeth Vesey

SEARCH