France • 1761−1845
BOILY, Louis Leopold Boiliy (1761, La Bosse - 1845, Paris)

French artist The son of an engraver, he lived as a young man in Douai (1774-1778) and then in Appace, where the artist D. Doncre worked in the genre of "deceptions," to which Bualli had also joined.

In 1785 he moved to Paris, where he was patronized by Calvet de La Palun, who commissioned the artist for eight paintings, executed in 1789-1791 (four of them by Saint-Omer, Museum). These small moral or gallant scenes ("The Unhappiness of Love," London, Wallace Collection; "Improvised Concert, or the Prize of Harmony," 1790, Saint-Omer, Museum) resemble the works of Fragonard.

Between 1791 and 1824, Boigny exhibited his works at the Salon. His popularity during the Revolution, the Directory and then the Empire perfectly characterizes the tastes of the late eighteenth century. This success reflects the numerous, sometimes contradictory hobbies of "amateurs" who, guided by an "encyclopedic" curiosity, appreciated both the heroism of large historical paintings and the intimacy of small scenes of family life in the tradition of Northern European painting. Boigny borrows his themes from contemporary life. The accusations of his compatriot Vicard force the artist to publicly affirm his unity with the Republic ("Triumph of Marat," 1794, Lille, Musée des Beaux-Arts; drawing - Versailles, Musée Lambinet) and support for the Davidic party ("Arrest of Charlotte Corday," Versailles, Musée Lambinet). More than to important historical events, however, Boigny is attached to a rapid and accurate depiction of the atmosphere and a selected moment of ordinary life. Virtuosity of execution, imagination, and humor are characteristic of scenes from Parisian life, painted in a style close to that of vignettes. The desire for thoroughness of the image, which sometimes used the technique of grisaille, imitating the engraving, often makes the artist's work illusionistic ("Galeries of the Palais-Royal", 1809, Paris, Carnavalet Museum) and reveals, like the works of Tone and Drolling, a deep connection with the works of Dutch masters of the 17th century (Terborch, Dow, van Myris), so beloved by collectors. The chronicle of the artistic environment, a series of "workshops" is a theme widespread in the 19th century ("The Workshop of a Young Artist," 1800, Moscow, A. S. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow. Pushkin; Houdon in his studio, 1804, Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs) is an example of the portrait work of Boigny (he executed over a thousand portraits), which combines a group portrait, individual portrait and sketches of faces (27 sketches from the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lille for his work Gathering of Artists in the Isabes Workshop, 1798, Paris, Louvre). This latter work vividly characterizes the type of group portrait inherited from 17th-century Dutch artists and English "conversation scenes" (Christophe Philippe Oberkampf with his two sons and eldest daughter in front of the Jouy factory, 1803, private collection; Madame Oberkampf with Two Daughters in the Jouy Valley, 1803, ibid.). The individualized faces (small bourgeois portrait busts; Paris, Musée Marmottan) are close to the art of David (Robes-Pierre, Lille, Musée des Beaux-Arts) in terms of the severity of their treatment, and to the paintings of Grez and Vigée-Lebrun ("Berthe-Juliette Dubois", Paris, Louvre) in terms of their directness of perception. In his drawings Boigny often used watercolor ("The Punished Child", Lille, Museum of Fine Arts), he also created engravings and lithographs ("Grimaces", 1823). Such a varied work distinguishes Bohalli against the background of a large group of neoclassical artists ("Deception" Christ, 1812, Oxford, Magdalenkollège Chapel); nevertheless, he preferred the direct representation of reality to the strict schemes of neoclassicism ("Rainfall", Paris, Louvre).

His works are well represented in France (Paris, Louvre, Carnavalet Museum, Marmottan Museum; Lille, Musée des Beaux-Arts; Saint-Omer, Museum), and in London (Wallace Collection), St. Petersburg (State Hermitage) and Moscow (Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts).
Go to biography


View all publications


All exhibitions of the artist
View all artist's artworks
Whole feed