Boucher, François

Boucher, François (1703-1770), French painter, noted for his pastoral and mythological scenes, whose work embodies the frivolity and sensuousness of the rococo style.

Boucher, the son of a designer of lace, was born in Paris. He studied with the painter François Le Moyne but was most influenced by the delicate style of his contemporary Antoine Watteau. In 1723 Boucher won the Prix de Rome; he studied in Rome from 1727 to 1731. After his return to France, he created hundreds of paintings, decorative boudoir panels, tapestry designs, theater designs, and book illustrations. He became a faculty member of the Royal Academy in 1734. He designed for the Beauvais tapestry works and in 1755 became director of the Gobelins tapestries. In 1765 he was made first painter to the king, director of the Royal Academy, and designer for the Royal Porcelain Works. His success was encouraged by his patron, Marquise de Pompadour, mistress to Louis XV. He painted her portrait several times.

Boucher's delicate, lighthearted depictions of classical divinities and well-dressed French shepherdesses delighted the public, who considered him the most fashionable painter of his day. Examples of his work are the paintings Triumph of Venus (1740, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm) and Nude Lying on a Sofa (1752, Alte Pinakothek, Munich) and the tapestry series Loves of the Gods (1744). Boucher's sentimental, facile style was too widely imitated and fell out of favor during the rise of neoclassicism. He died in Paris on May 30, 1770.

492 x 600 43.7K
43.7K, 492 x 600

Christ and John the Baptist as Children
Painted: 1758
Oil on oval canvas
The Visit of Venus to Vulcan
Painted: 1754
Wallace Collection

526 x 600 51.7K
51.7K, 526 x 600

544 x 600 51.6K
51.6K, 544 x 600

Painted: 1761
Autumn (detail)
(The Cure of Folly)
Painted: 1745
Wallace Collection

483 x 450 23.0K
23.0K, 483 x 450

800 x 583 72.4K
72.4K, 800 x 583

Diana Leaving her Bath
Painted: 1742
Oil on canvas
The Rest on the Flight to Egypt
Painted: 1737
The Hermitage Museum
St. Petersburg

624 x 600 58.0K
58.0K, 624 x 600

800 x 486 58.2K
58.2K, 800 x 486

Naiads and Triton
Painted: 1763
black and red chalk with
white highlights on
beige paperGemaldegalerie