Baroque and Rococo


Baroque and Rococo Art Map


Francois Boucher




Francois Boucher

(b Paris, 29 Sept 1703; d Paris, 30 May 1770).

French painter, draughtsman and etcher. Arguably it was he, more than any other artist, who set his stamp on both the fine arts and the decorative arts of the 18th century. Facilitated by the extraordinary proliferation of engravings, Boucher successfully fed the demand for imitable imagery at a time when most of Europe sought to follow what was done at the French court and in Paris. He did so both as a prolific painter and draughtsman (he claimed to have produced some 10,000 drawings during his career) and through engravings after his works, the commercial potential of which he seems to have been one of the first artists to exploit. He reinvented the genre of the pastoral, creating an imagery of shepherds and shepherdesses as sentimental lovers that was taken up in every medium, from porcelain to toile de Jouy, and that still survives in a debased form. At the same time, his manner of painting introduced the virtuosity and freedom of the sketch into the finished work, promoting painterliness as an end in itself. This approach dominated French painting until the emergence of Neo-classicism, when criticism was heaped on Boucher and his followers. His work never wholly escaped this condemnation, even after the taste for French 18th-century art started to revive in the second half of the 19th century. In his own day, the fact that he worked for both collectors and the market, while retaining the prestige of a history painter, had been both Boucher’s strength and a cause of his decline.


Painter in his Studio

Oil on wood, 27 x 22 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


The Love Letter


Offering of a Rose


The Forest

Oil on canvas, 131 x 163 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


Are They Thinking About the Grape?

Oil on canvas
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago


The Milliner (The Morning)

Oil on canvas, 64 x 53 cm
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm


An Autumn Pastoral

Oil on canvas, 260 x 199 cm
Wallace Collection, London


A Summer Pastoral

Oil on canvas, 259 x 197 cm
Wallace Collection, London


Venus Consoling Love


Pastorale: The Vegetable Vendor

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