Sunday, 28 August 2016


“I’m a Baroque person. More than Baroque, I’m a Rococo person. I don’t draw straight lines.” Nuno Roque

François Boucher (born Sept. 29, 1703, Paris, France—died May 30, 1770, Paris) was a painter, engraver, and designer whose works are regarded as the perfect expression of French taste in the Rococo period.

Trained by his father, a lace designer, Boucher won the Prix de Rome in 1723. He was influenced by the works of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Peter Paul Rubens, and his teacher François Le Moyne. Boucher’s first major commission was for engravings of 125 drawings by Antoine Watteau. After illustrating an edition of Molière’s works, he drew cartoons of farmyard scenes and chinoiserie for the Beauvais tapestry factory.

Boucher first won fame with his sensuous and light-hearted mythological paintings and pastoral landscapes. He executed important decorative commissions for the queen at Versailles and for his friend and patron, Mme de Pompadour, at Versailles, Marly, and Bellevue. He became a member of the Royal Academy in 1734 and then became the principal producer of designs for the royal porcelain factories, as well as director of the Gobelins tapestry factory.

During the 1740s and ’50s Boucher’s elegant and refined but playful style became the hallmark of the court of Louis XV. His work was characterised by the use of delicate colours, gently modelled forms, facile technique, and light-hearted subject matter. Boucher is generally acclaimed as one of the great draughtsmen of the 18th century, particularly in his handling of the female nude.

Although immensely successful, Boucher lost his artistic preeminence toward the end of his life; overproduction, poor translations of his paintings into tapestries, the growing sterility of his own work, and the emergence of Neoclassicism caused him to lose favour, both with the public and with such leading art critics as Denis Diderot.

Yet Boucher, in defiance of an increasing demand from theorists, critics, and public agitators, continued to exhibit his cheerful and sugary visions of pastoral bliss and mythological trysts at the biennial Salons. Indeed, his social connections and efficient careerism resulted in his appointment in 1765 as First Painter to the King and his election as director of the Académie Royale. This final triumph was short lived, however, as Boucher died in Paris in 1770.

The painting above is "Spring" of 1755, one painting of a set of four depicting the Seasons. This is typical of Boucher's style and subject matter.

No comments:

Post a Comment