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François Boucher

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François Boucher
18th century
(Paris, 1703 - 1770, Paris)

Boucher’s stylistic formation began with François Lemoyne, from whom he learned a dynamic style ultimately inspired by Rubens, but tending toward the lighter palette and diminished chiaroscuro that were coming into fashion. Watteau in turn shaped his enduring interest in genre subject matter, sweet characterization, and responsive draftsmanship, and, on a sojourn in Italy (1728-31), Tiepolo in particular inspired his grand decorative manner. Boucher rendered all subjects with distinction, but was renowned for original works as well as designs for other media that involve exuberant mythological and genre subjects. From 1735, enjoying the special patronage of Madame de Pompadour, he became the leading decorator of the French royal palaces and residences. Transcending Rococo froth and immediate fame are his gifts as a pure painter, powerful draftsman, and artist unusually sensitive to the possibilities of printmaking.

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