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François Boucher ( * 1703 † 1770 )

Portrait of François Boucher

Biography of François Boucher

The Incarnation of the French Rococo François Boucher was born on September 29th, 1703 in Paris. He was a French painter, theater decorator and book illustrator.

François Boucher first learned the basics of painting from his father Nicolas, who was a design draftsman and a member of the Académie de Saint-Luc. In the early 1720s he studied for a short time with François Lemoyne, one of the leading historical painters of the time.

François Boucher won the 1723 Grand Prix of the Arts. Nevertheless, he did not get any of the coveted seats at the French Academy in Rome. He then learned printmaking in the house of the engraver Jean François Cars. This led him to print publisher Jean de Jullienne, for whom he produced numerous etchings and prints.

In 1731, François Boucher was accepted as a history painter at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. In 1742 he became court painter to the king and in 1761 became rector of the royal academy. Around 1765, King Louis XV ( peintre du roi ) named him the first court painter. Among his works were decorations for royal castles and pictures for the royal private chambers.

The artist was inspired and influenced by Jean-Antoine Watteau, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Peter Paul Rubens. He portrayed nature and landscapes with great passion. He also liked to paint portraits of noble customers or naked female bodies. He painted colorful and decorated his works abundantly. Idyllic, quiet, mythological-allegorical scenes characterize his graceful-gallant style. Playful but elegant, he played with delicate colors and gentle forms.

François Boucher died on May 30th, 1770 in Paris. His name, like that of his patron Madame de Pompadour, and his works are the perfect expression of French Rococo flavor.

Art prints and oil reproductions by François Boucher

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