Francois Boucher

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Francois Boucher

Portrait of François Boucher by Gustaf Lundberg (1741)
Francois Boucher, (born Sept. 29, 1703, Paris, France—died May 30, 1770, Paris), 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.


Portrait of Marie-Jeanne Buzeau (1716-1796) by Alexander Roslin. Boucher married Buzeau in 1733 and later had three children together.
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. In 1765 he became director of the Royal Academy and held the title of first painter to King Louis XV.

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 characterized by the use of delicate colours, gently modeled forms, facile technique, and light-hearted subject matter. Boucher is generally acclaimed as one of the great draftsmen 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.

Encyclopædia Britannica


The Afternoon Meal
Oil on canvas, 81,5 x 65,5 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


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


Pastorale: The Vegetable Vendor


Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on canvas
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon

La "Toilette"

The Interrupted Sleep
Oil on canvas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Escena Pastoral


The Young Lovers


Shepherd and Shepherdess Reposing
Oil on canvas, 77 x 64 cm
Wallace Collection, London