French Rococo Era Painter, 1703-1770
Francois Boucher seems to have been perfectly attuned to his times, a period which had cast off the pomp and circumstance characteristic of the preceding age of Louis XIV and had replaced formality and ritual by intimacy and artificial manners. Boucher was very much bound to the whims of this frivolous society, and he painted primarily what his patrons wanted to see. It appears that their sight was best satisfied by amorous subjects, both mythological and contemporary. The painter was only too happy to supply them, creating the boudoir art for which he is so famous.
Boucher was born in Paris on Sept. 29, 1703, the son of Nicolas Boucher, a decorator who specialized in embroidery design. Recognizing his sons artistic potential, the father placed young Boucher in the studio of François Lemoyne, a decorator-painter who worked in the manner of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Though Boucher remained in Lemoynes studio only a short time, he probably derived his love of delicately voluptuous forms and his brilliant color palette from the older masters penchant for mimicking the Venetian decorative painters.
ID: 62417 Adoration of the Shepherds 1750 Oil on canvas Mus?e des Beaux-Arts, Lyon Boucher had never been a committed artistic believer. Although he had worked in Italy, the Italian tradition did not tempt him into vast imaginative schemes. He never aimed at a heroic vision. He expressed no glorious promises about heaven: either as an Olympian refuge for aristocratic families, or in ordinary Christian terms. Like most French eighteenth-century painters, he could not evolve a satisfactory idiom for religious pictures of any kind; and he was particularly unsuited to the task by the nature of his real abilities. The picture shows one of his rare paintings of religious subject