The Duc de Choiseul, seen on the left, lived large. Through industry and intrigue, he rose to become the most powerful person in France after King Louis XV, amassing a great fortune and spending it extravagantly on, among other things, an outstanding collection of paintings. Choiseul helped launch the career of Hubert Robert, whose father was Choiseul's father's valet, by finding him a post as cook in the Académie de France in Rome. Choiseul was once characterized as "a wonderful mixture of selfishness and charm and recklessness and exquisite taste." In 1770 Louis XV fired the duke, who retreated to the Choiseul estate, Chanteloup, in the Touraine region of central France. Here, the dedicated womanizer Choiseul is shown in exile with his mistress Madame de Brionne and the Abbé Barthélemy, the learned curator of the king's collection of antiquities and a close friend and adviser of the duke and his duchess. Jacques Wilbaut painted the trio in an informal moment at the duke's château. Against a relatively simple backdrop, Wilbaut showcased the elegance of their clothing while capturing the tenderness and genuine affection they shared for one another.