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Francois Boucher (fr. François Boucher;September 29, 1703, Paris — May 30, 1770, Paris) — French painter of the era rococo.

Features of the artist Francois Boucher: multifaceted — wrote allegories, mythological and genre scenes, famous for its pastoral landscapes and portraits of Madame de Pompadour. He worked in the arts and crafts genre: he designed the scenery for performances, sketches for tapestries, painted porcelain. Sensuality, cheerfulness, lightness and even lightheadedness, elegant color (based on light shades of pink and blue), roundness and asymmetry of lines, bold compositional solutions and dynamic brushstroke fill the movement with even the most tranquil, serene paintings of François Boucher.

The most famous paintings in the works of Francois Boucher: "Bathing Diana", "Portrait of Madame de Pompadour", "Hercules and Omphale".

"And again, Monsieur Bush pouted everyone! He took the ancient myths only to again undress their heroines!. " By the end of the life of Francois Boucher, criticism became especially ruthless towards him. Nothing was forgiven. What had been considered lovely for many years was declared disgustingly cutesy. Charming — mannered. Piquant — dirty-dissolute. His work was accused of depravity. Blamed for the lack of big ideas and minimal taste. Besides the famous flavor, its so-called "Pearl harmony", became more primitive and coarser, as the painter gradually lost his sight, and Denis Diderot slandered: that way our Bush will come down to colorings!

Boucher was a much more significant and talented master than the loud-minded critics of the Enlightenment, who were at the same time ideologues of the bourgeois revolution, believed. But here you need to look wider. The stigma of a particular Bush, they denounced the entire previous French "parasitic" social structure, the singer of which he was known. And it’s not the artist’s fault (by the way, a big worker who left about a thousand paintings and ten thousand drawings) that "we will deny the old world" at some point took the form "we will deny Bush’s work".

He came from a completely noble family, although he would later have to work for King Louis XV and another half dozen European monarchs. Nicola Boucher, his father, made a living, as they would say now, with industrial design. Sewing shops and weaving mills ordered him to compose lace patterns or ornaments for fabrics, but this did not bring significant income. Then the head of the family decided to start selling art objects. This also did not make him rich, but he acquired some connections in the artistic environment. For example, a well-drawing son Francois "through an acquaintance" arranged for one of the best and most experienced teachers — the artist Francois Lemoine.

At the age of 20, Bush received the main prize of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture for a painting that had not been preserved with the title "The Liberation of Yokam, a prisoner of Navuhudonosor". The grand prix meant that he now became a pensioner of the Academy, i.e. will be able to go at public expense to improve education in Rome. But he received the prize in 1723, and he could only see Rome in 1728. Biographers do not know for what reasons Bush refused scholarships. It is only known that he earned money for a trip to the "eternal city" by the hard work of an illustrator for five years.

During these years, Bush perfectly mastered the technique of engraving. He had to engrave landscapes of the founder of the style rococo Antoine Watteau. He was a generation older, and his influence on the development of Bush’s manner was decisive.

By the time of the trip to Rome, where he went to the company Carla Van Loo and his nephews Michel and François, Boucher was already an established artist. The president of the Academy of Arts himself has heard about him and promises Bush an extensive educational program and the actual orders. But plans are frustrated: unfortunately, Bush suffers from a fever and is forced to return from Rome to Paris.

In 1734, he exhibited in the Academy a canvas called"Rinaldo and Armida"who was waiting for a great success. For him, Bush receives the official title "painter of historical scenes." This meant the entry into the club of the artistic elite: historical (mythological) painting is still considered the highest kind of art.

Already next year, followed by the first orders from the royal court. Boucher is honored to decorate the chambers of Louis XV at Versailles ("Tiger Hunt", "The Crocodile Hunt"). And the ladies of the court literally "tear Bush apart": everyone wants a trendy Rococo interior!

The year 1748 marks the beginning of his collaboration with the legendary Madame de Pompadour — with it in the future will inevitably associate the name of Bush. The mighty and wayward favorite of Louis XV achieved for the artist permission to live in the Louvre: he should decorate the dining room in Fontainebleau and the Council’s office. Partly inheriting his father’s craft, Bush creates designs for the trellis. And Pompadour wants him to be appointed director of the Royal manufactory of tapestries.

The plots of the main paintings in the works of Francois Boucher, tapestries and trellis — mostly pastoral and gallant scenes. And, of course, Bush is constantly surrounded by models from the number of dancers, actresses and ladies of half light. Pompadour also enjoys posing for him. Portraits are melancholic and too chaste — both for Bush and for the odious favorite. Rumor attributed the artist lovingly and various forms of subtle debauchery, and Diderot indignant: can he really create something truly elegant, this Bush spending his days in the "society of women of the lowest kind"? But in reality, we know very little about Bush’s private life, and rumors are not documented. However, refutations, too.

The artist happily married when his career was just beginning to gain momentum. His wife was Marie-Jeanne Buzot, a pretty daughter of a famous judge in Paris. The father-in-law expressed dissatisfaction with the "low" origin of the son-in-law, but put up with him, since the name of the latter was already heard by the Paris public. Marie-Zhanna was fifteen years younger than her husband. Her half-childish doll face Francois Boucher will give the heroines of his paintings — Princess Armide ("Rinaldo and Armida") and various Venus (1, 2, 3).

Children in the family of Francois Boucher were born three. What is interesting, all of them, one way or another, continued the artistic dynasty. The eldest daughter will marry a pupil of Bush, the artist Jean-Baptiste Deze, the youngest — of his other pupil, Pierre Antoine Baudouin. Son Boucher Just Nathan will become an architect.

Bush’s reputation as an erotic author is greatly exaggerated. He really masterfully wrote naked female nature. Perhaps more frankly than other French artists before him. These are, for example, portraits of odalisok — light and dark — made not without influence Rubens. A painting by Francois Boucher entitled"Venus asks Vulcan to forge a weapon for Aeneas" indeed not so much mythological as erotic. BUT "Hercules and Omphale", indeed, it still shocks the current of animal sensuality. But on this Bush erotic repertoire is almost exhausted.

And after all, Bush was an illustrator and publisher (illustrations for Moliere, drawings for Ovid’s Metamorphoses and a catalog of rocaille ornaments he compiled are especially famous). He was also a gifted decorator who designed the best examples of Rococo architecture (Hotel Subiz and others). Bush was also a landscape painter and set designer for the best performances of the royal theater. His work has always been inextricably linked with the many facets of the cultural life of France.

Diderot scolded that there was not a drop of truth in Bush’s landscapes and not a single real blade of grass. But then Bush was held hostage by the classical tradition mastered in Rome. His landscape really has little to do with France. It is rather a classic "Italian landscape" with picturesque ruins of a castle on the horizon and sharp contours of pines. But the important thing is that on the famous self portrait Bush himself depicted a landscape painter.

Much more interesting to Bush as a genre artist. But here the matter is limited to just a few pictures — true, high sample. The Swedish queen Lovisa Ulrica ordered the series "4 parts of the day of the fashionista" series to Bush, but he managed to write only "Morning" ("The lady putting on the garter"). The genre scene with the title is also good."Breakfast" (many see characters in the Bush family as characters). The question arises why Bush did not develop his talent in this particular direction. There is an opinion that, being an honest and deeply decent man, Bush simply did not want to compete with the "star" of genre painting of that time, Jean Baptiste Chardin.

From about 1757, the glory of the artist fades. Critics destroy it, and the public begins to understand that the work of Francois Boucher is completely morally obsolete. In the 1760s, the oppressed Bush even thinks of going to teach in Russia, where Empress Catherine welcomes French masters. In 1769, he prepared a sketch of a decorative panel with the name "Pygmalion and Galatea", which the sculptor Etienne Falcone at the request of Bush is taking to St. Petersburg. Alas, the journey of Bush himself was not destined to take place: the artist died in his Louvre apartment on May 30, 1770.

Author: Anna Yesterday
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Artworks liked by

Francois Boucher. A woman sitting in a chair. Study for the picture "Breakfast"
Francois Boucher. Venus lying with two pigeons
Francois Boucher. Desudeport
Francois Boucher. Diana after bathing (fragment)
Francois Boucher. Landscape with Palatino Hill, view from Campo Vaccino
Francois Boucher. Female head with lace collar
Francois Boucher. Boy holding net
Francois Boucher. Vulcan Forge
Francois Boucher. Forest
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Francois Boucher. Venus in the pool, surrounded by nymphs and cupids
Venus in the pool, surrounded by nymphs and cupids
Francois Boucher
1745, 111×147 cm
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Whole feed
Artworks by the artist
150 artworks total
Francois Boucher. Bathing Diana
Bathing Diana
1742, 73×57 cm
Francois Boucher. Hercules and Omphale
Hercules and Omphale
1731, 74×90 cm
Francois Boucher. Fountain of love
Fountain of love
1748, 338×294 cm
Francois Boucher. Portrait of Madame de Pompadour
Portrait of Madame de Pompadour
1756, 157×201 cm
Francois Boucher. Portrait of Madame Pompadour
Portrait of Madame Pompadour
1759, 69×91 cm
Francois Boucher. Captive Amur
Captive Amur
1754, 84.5×164.5 cm
Francois Boucher. Bridge
1751, 67×85 cm
Francois Boucher. Mill
1751, 67×85 cm
Francois Boucher. A milliner
A milliner
1746, 53×64 cm
View 151 artworks by the artist