Life in Paris was hard on the O'Murphy-family and they took up some less esteemed careers. Marie-Louise's mother traded in second-hand clothing and her sister became an actress - Marie-Louise herself danced a bit. The infamous Casanova visited the household in which Marie-Louise lived and found her to be very beautiful despite his remark that he found her to be "a pretty, ragged, dirty little creature". A painting was painted of the then thirteen-year old Marie-Louise lying naked on a couch. One way or another the painting made its way to Louis XV who immediately took a fancy to the beautiful, young girl. In this way Marie-Louise found herself to be one of the King's younger mistresses - she was one of the many young girls provided by Madame de Pompadour for Louis XV since their relationship was no longer sexual.
|This is the famous portrait that caught the eye of |
Marie-Louise had a miscarriage in 1753. The miscarriage had been very difficult and had almost cost her her own life. As a result this merely brought Louis XV closer to her - he loved the idea that she had almost died "in service" as a prove of her affection for him. However, she later gave birth to Agathe Louise de Saint-Antoine who was indisputably the King's illegitimate daughter. Marie-Louise continued to fulfil her role as the King's mistress for two years but then made a mistake that would be her downfall: she tried to replace the extremely influential Madame de Pompadour.
Madame de Pompadour had already been the maîtresse-en-titre of Louis for many years and had become irreplaceable to him. She quickly arranged for Marie-Louise to be married of to Jacques Pelet de Beaufranchet which happened in 1755. Two children came out of this marriage - a girl who died in infancy and a boy who would become the Comte de Beaufranchet and serve as a General for the French republic. Sadly, Marie-Louise's husband was killed in battle shortly before the birth of their second child.
Marie-Louise remarried two years later, this time to François Nicolas Le Normant who was the Comte de Flaghac and this union produced a daughter.
But Marie-Louise soon found herself to be a widow once again when François died in 1759. This time Marie-Louise was a widow for twelve years before she married again in 1795 - at that point the monarchy had fallen and her once-lover was long-dead. But this third marriage to Louis-Philippe Dumont was a poor match. After three years of marriage the couple divorced and Marie-Louise never married again.
During the Reign of Terror, Marie-Louise was imprisoned when it became known that she had been a mistress of a former King - this had cost Madame du Barry her life. But she was released and lived till 1814 when she died at the age of 77.