François Boucher (1703-1770) was younger than Ferretti—whose work he would have known—and needs no introduction. This small sketch1
for an altarpiece of the Assumption of the Virgin shows Boucher’s debt to the Italians and his own orientation. Not much less daring than anything the German Rococo artists attempted, Boucher strikes luxuriously and freely with his brush in a vigorous testimonial to the full-blown painting of a slightly earlier moment in Italy. But the self-conscious and self-assured manner is nothing if not French, and colors—apparently opulent but actually an icily-limited play of silvery blond tones—are quite new and personal, and perfect for the bright world of Mme. de Pompadour.Other versions of this sketch exist, and a derivation, by Boucher's son-in-law Deshayes, is in the National Gallery of Scotland.Endnotes
Referenced Work of Art
- Ex coll. H. L. Birchoffscheim, London.
- François Boucher, French, 1703-1770. The Assumption of the Virgin, Sketch. Oil on canvas, 19” x 11 1/4”. The Christina N. and Swan J. Turnblad Memorial Fund, 1961, 61.29.