Valliere, Louise, Duchesse De La

Valliere, Louise, Duchesse De La one of the maids of honor to the duchess of Orleans (Henrietta of England), born in the province of Touraine in 1644. She became mistress to Louis XIV in 1661, and loved him sincerely, though not for his royal title. She was so much ashamed of her equivocal situation that she entered a convent, from which she was taken forcibly by the king in 1670, and entered again by joining the Carmelite Order in 1674 as Sceur Louise de la Miseracorde (Sister Louise of Mercy). She died at the Paris Carmelite Convent in 1710. She wrote Letters and Reflections on the Mercy of God. She has been a favorite theme with poets and painters. The May Magdalene Renouncing the World, painted by Le Brun as an altarpiece for the convent in which she made her profession, has been considered a portrait of her. Others consider The Penitent Magdalen in the Munich Gallery as more likely to be her portrait. A very good picture of the Scur Louise de la Miseracorde may be seen in the British Museum. See Jameson [Mrs.], Legends of the Monastic Orders, p. 427.

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