This person is associated with: Rococo
French painter, leader of the Rococo style.
He won the Prix de Rome in 1723 for his
Evilmérodach, fils et successeur de Nabuchodonosor, délivre Joachim des chaînes dans lesquelles son père le retenait depuis longtemps (lost painting). However, he was not awarded a stipend to travel to Rome and had to fund the trip by himself; he left with his future rival Carle Van Loo, who had won the prize of 1724.
Back in Paris in1731, he received his first important commission by a small lawyer named François Debrais. Boucher decided to make an ambitious ensemble in order to display his talent to the Parisian elite and painted five large mythological scenes and four canvases of putti, for the billiard room and the staircase of the house.
He was admitted in the Academy in 1734, his reception piece was Rinaldo and Armida.
Associated with the reign of Louis XV, Boucher was the favourite artist of the king's mistress, Madame de Pompadour, for whom he painted some of his most impressive works. He well represented the ideals of the his patrons of the French aristocracy before the French revolution, who were fond of his idealized landscapes ("pastorals") with happy lovers in the foreground, or erotic depictions of Artemis and Venus. He also produced several humoristic paintings focused on fat and naughty putti, whereas they were usually just used as decorative features.
Unlike most of his contemporaries, Boucher sold his drawings, which were collected by the amateurs. As a result, more than 5,000 drawings are said to survive today.
He was appointed academician in 1734, then Premier Peintre du Roi in 1765.
He was the master of
Fragonard, Le Mettay, Drouais and Challe and father-in-law of Baudouin and Deshays de Colleville.
Les Dessins de François Boucher, Paris, Éditions Scala, 2003