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