François Boucher

Portrait of François Boucher by Gustaf Lundberg (1741)

More than any other artist, François Boucher is associated with the formulation of the mature Rococo style and its dissemination throughout Europe. Among the most prolific of his generation, he worked in virtually every medium and every genre, creating a personal idiom that found wide reproduction in print form. He was highly adept at marketing his work, providing designs for all manner of decorative arts, from porcelain to tapestry.

Boucher’s insistence on a painterly surface and adoption of a high-toned palette favoring blues and pinks was well suited to Rococo interiors, but was the target of critical derision late in his career when the style fell from favor. Denis Diderot, whose opinion on Boucher’s merit was decidedly mixed, famously wrote of him in his review of the 1761 Salon, “Cet homme a tout—excepté la vérité” (That man is capable of everything—except the truth).

From a humble background, Boucher initially supported himself as a printmaker and designer of book illustration....

His impact on the decorative arts of the Rococo period, in France and throughout Europe, is difficult to overstate. Aside from the 3 dozen or so plates he etched himself, a great number of printmakers found it lucrative to reproduce his paintings and drawings; some 1,500 prints after Boucher are known today. The porcelain factories at Vincennes and Sévres were kept busy with the replication of his gallant shepherds and shepherdesses as soft-paste biscuit porcelain figurines and as polychrome painted decoration for tableware and decorative pieces. In addition, Boucher produced numerous sets of prints which adapted Chinese figures to Rococo taste, fueling the fashion for chinoiserie.

François Boucher (29 Sept. 1703-30 May 1770) French painter, draughtsman and etcher, who worked in the Rococo style. Known for his ...
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First Collected by

Salomé Prada Pottecher


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