Francois Boucher

Madame de Pompadour, ca. 1758

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About the Artist

François Boucher was a French painter, engraver, and designer whose works are regarded as the perfect expression of French taste in the Rococo period. Boucher was trained by his father, a lace designer, and was later influenced by the works of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Peter Paul Rubens, and his teacher Francois Le Moyne. Boucher received commissions for engravings and illustrations for tapestries. He first gained recognition with his sensuous and light-hearted mythological paintings and pastoral landscapes, including commissions for the queen at Versailles and for his friend and patron, Madame de Pompadour. He joined the Royal Academy in 1734 and then became the principal designer for the Royal porcelain factories, and director of the Gobelins tapestry factory. In 1765 he became director of the Royal Academy and held the title of first painter to King Louis XV. Boucher’s art was characterized by his use of delicate colors, gently modeled forms, and lighthearted subject matter. Boucher is widely regarded as one of the great draftsmen of the 18th century, particularly in his handling of the female nude.