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Alice Mackrell

French royal favourite, patron and collector. She was the daughter of Anne Bécu, a dressmaker, who took her to Paris at eight years old. She was educated at the convent of the Daughters of St Aure and in 1760 became an assistant in the shop in Paris of the celebrated dressmaker Labille. She came to the attention of Comte Jean du Barry, who installed her in his house in the Rue de la Jussienne, where she presided over a celebrated literary salon. In ...