Francois Boucher (1703 – 1770) was the true legislator of all kinds of French art in the middle of the XVIII century. His art personified the Rococo style – the “royal style” that arose in France during the reign of Louis XV (1715-1774). In contemporaries, however, it evoked a twofold assessment, as is often the case with the work of a gifted master. Boucher was a member of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris, from 1765 to 1768, as its director; In 1765 he was awarded the title of “the first artist of the king.” One of the great representatives of the pleiad of French educators Denis Diderot in the Salons at first spoke highly of his talent as a painter. But over time, the same Diderot and other cultural figures of the Enlightenment became very critical of the art of Francois Boucher. Elegant, light and frivolous, it did not meet the aesthetic views of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who wrote that “the highest criterion in matters of art is virtue,” or to Diderot’s thoughts that “the truth of nature is the basis of works of art” and “simplicity is one thing of the main qualities of beauty.
Diderot wrote in the Salon of 1761 about Bush: “What colors! What a variety! What a wealth of things and plots! This artist has it all. except the truth. His grace. his jealousy, his romantic gallantry, his flirtatiousness, his taste, the lightness of his brush, his variety, brilliance, his bruised nakedness, debauchery must conquer the dandies, ladies of light disposition, young men. people of the secular – all those who are alien to the authentic taste, truth.
correct ideas, strictness of art. People who have great taste, taste, strict and classical, do not attach any importance to it … “. This severe assessment of Diderot from the point of view of “strict” and “classical” taste forever defined a twofold assessment of the creativity of François Boucher – the beautiful painter, but the “prolific” author of “mannered” and “cutesy” paintings, in which “everything is mixed with wonder” great ideas. In the XIX century, when many professional masters highly appreciated the freedom and expression of the painting of Boucher, some authors of books on the art of the XVIII century and. in particular, about the artist himself, like Charles Blanc or Theophilus Tore, nevertheless continued to focus more on his personal life, hinting at his “love”, a naughty relationship with favorite models – Madame de Pompadour and other notable ladies, as well as with dancers and actresses, among whom equally equal freedom of morals. Perhaps this was largely due to the desire to show the depravity of the society of the “Ancienn regime” era, than by attacks on Bush, whose art glorified the mores of this society.
The authors, who appreciated the talent of Boucher-theatrical artist, who paid tribute to the “theatricality” of the culture of the Enlightenment, also assessed his work in different ways. Jean Francois Marmontel, for example, argued that “Boucher did not see the true grace. He wrote to Venus and Madonna with the nymphs of the wings.
and his language, like his painting, was like the morals of his models and his workshop “. And Theophile Gautier, on the contrary, believed that the world of his pastors from the life of French settlers and heroes, reminiscent of the characters of comic operas, ballets, pantomime, are “more pleasant than the real peasant world”. Only the brothers Edmond and Jules Goncourt in the book on the art of the XVIII century were singled out by François Boucher among the masters of the era of Louis XV. In addition, they published a collection of his etchings, assessing the contribution of the master to the artistic legacy of the century as an outstanding draftsman and engraver. ”
About the real life of Bush, not so much information has been preserved. Biographers write little about him as a man, and his letters are almost unknown. The information of contemporaries about that has been preserved. that he highly valued the society of enlightened people, knew the literature well, was associated with famous theatrical figures. Among his acquaintances were Earl Henri Claude Philippe de Keillus, a well-known collector, an enthusiastic archaeologist and amateur, a great connoisseur of antiquity, playwright Charles Simon Favard, Abbot de Lagarde, organizer of festivities and theatrical performances at the royal court, as well as many musicians, composers, actors, whose society he valued, because he was very fond of music and theater. And yet Francois Boucher was first and foremost a painter, whose multifaceted talent manifested itself in drawing, engraving, the art of decorating a book, and decorative and applied art. Very accurately, without referring to the usual dual assessment of the gift of Boucher to other authors, wrote about him a famous cultural figure of the Enlightenment, a connoisseur of art, collector Pierre Jean Mariette: “Boucher was born an artist. Few could compare with him in skill. You can say that he was born with a brush in his hand. ”
Francois Boucher was born on September 29, 1703 in Paris, in the family of painter and draftsman Nicholas Boucher. He first studied with his father, and then between 1720 and 1723 spent several months in the workshop of the famous painter Francois Lemoine, performing drawings for engravings. His studies of drawing and engraving Boucher continued in 1721-1722 in the workshop of the Parisian engraver Jean Francois Cara the Elder. Receiving 60 livres a day, he performed drawings, including for the book of the abbot Daniel, History of France (Study of drawing and engravings, Louvre, Paris), published in 1729. The most significant work in the schedule for the young Bush was the participation in the so-called Collection of Julien – a two-volume edition of prints by the drawings of Antoine Watteau, kept in the collection of the famous collector Jean de Julien. Both volumes were published in 1726 and 1728 under the title Figures de different caracteres … Oeuvres qrave’de Watteau: 104 sheets in them, including the portrait of Watteau, were executed by François Boucher. About. that the artist has already received a certain recognition as a good draftsman, and his participation in the preparation of drawings for engravings to the book of N. Dorigny in honor of the famous people of England. Boucher performed to her in 1724 drawings depicting the allegorical compositions of French artists in honor of the famous figures of the history of England.
In 1723, François Boucher received the first prize – the Grand Prix for the canvas presented at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture by Evilmerodach, son and follower of Nebuchadnezzar. He released from the chains of Joachim, whom his father held for seven years in custody (Royal Academy, Paris). The canvas on the biblical story from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah described the release of Jehoiakim, the king of the Jews, from the dungeon, where he was imprisoned by the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, who fought against Jerusalem. This opened a wide road for the young painter: he was granted the right to travel as a pensioner of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Italy. In late March or early April 1728, Francois Boucher, along with Carl Vanloo and his two nephews – Louis Michel Vanloo and Francois Waploo – went to Italy. Their trip, according to the Academy, the famous engraver Charles Nicola Koshen, was subsidized by Duke Anten, patron and collector. In May 1728, retirees arrived in Rome. where they were hospitably received by the director of the French Academy in Rome – the painter Nicholas Fllegels. He presented them to the French ambassador at the papal curia, the duke de Polyeiac.
At first, apparently, Bush did not make a special impression on Flegels, but over time, in letters to the Duke of Anten, he particularly distinguished the talent of this artist among other promising young painters.
In Italy, judging by the drawings, attention to Bushe attracted the work of Dutch artists, in particular, Abraham Bloomart, as well as drawings, engravings and paintings by Benedetto, as Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione was called in France. He was interested in their vision of nature, skill in depicting animals, scenes from rural life. The fascination with the works of the Venetians (Sebastiano Ricci and Giovanni Batista Pittoni) began in France. Pittoni’s drawings were kept in the collections of France, besides, the artist himself visited Paris, as evidenced by the drawing of Antoine Watteau (Fund of Chini, Venice). The Ricci painting of the plafond in the Royal Bank of Paris (Mississippi Bank in the Low Hotel) may also have been known to the artist. Therefore, it can not be said that the style of Boucher has undergone great changes in Italy under the influence of Castiglione and Ricci.
Before the departure to Italy, paintings were painted by Saint Bartholomew (1726). Joseph represents the father and brothers to Pharaoh (1723-1726). Bethuel invites Abraham’s servant (late 1720s, Louvre, Paris). Already in these early works, Bush is attracted by an unusual treatment of plots. Saint Bartholomew, whose missionary activity in India and the martyr death from scalping is narrated by the Golden legend of the 13th-century Dominican monk Yakov Voraginsky, is depicted not at the moment of terrible suffering, but standing at the arch, against the background of the Castle of the Holy Angel, with a knife – the instrument of his execution. Saint Bartholomew, apparently, was a cycle of seven paintings depicting Christ, Mary and the saints. On the canvas Bafueil invites the servant Abraham depicts Rebekah’s father Bethuel, who meets the patriarch Abraham Eleazar’s steward on the threshold of his house. Usually the artists in this story were attracted by the meeting between Eleazar and Rebekah at the well.
The elongated proportions of figures in the early paintings of Bush testify to the knowledge of the works of JB. Pittoni. The plot of the picture of Joseph represents the father and brothers Pharaoh until 1954 was interpreted as a new version of the plot of the canvas.
Upon his return from Italy in November 1731, François Boucher was accepted as a member of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris in the class of historical painting. In 1732 he married Maria Jeanne Buzot, a young Parisian woman. with whom he married in the Church of Saint Rocca, and settled on the street of Saint-Thomas du Louvre. In 1735, their first daughter, Jeanne Elizabeth Victoria, was born, who later became the wife of the student of Bushe Jean-Baptiste Desa. In the Academy, Bush very quickly made a brilliant career: on July 2, 1735, he was awarded the title of adjunct professor, and on July 6, 1737, he was elected professor. Little is known about the artist’s family life. He had two more children, the son Juste 11atan, who became an architect, and the daughter of Maria Emilia, who married another student of Boucher, Pierre Antoine Baudouin. Perhaps it was Madame Boucher pictured on a canvas with a mystery for which Boucher received in 1723 the Grand Prix at the Royal Academy. Now it is established that Bush presented the scene from the Old Testament, depicting Joseph, his father Jacob, brothers and their wives (in the images of the latter one can see the influence of the painting of F. Lemoine) facing the Egyptian pharaoh dressed in a medieval costume.
Cloth on the plot of the Old Testament Sacrifice Gideoni (circa 1728) was written already in Italy (Gideon’s head resembles the head of Jacob), as evidenced by more lively lighting effects and a light color scheme, reminiscent of the picturesque manner of Sebastiano Ricci. Bushu tries more accurately to follow the text of the Bible, which narrates how Gideon. son of Joash. rescued the Israelites from the Midianite tribe. Gideon is presented to the servant of the angel, sent by God. And the angel, having tasted the gifts of Gideon, had already touched his rod to the stone from which the fire had been cut so that Gideon would later build the altar of Baal on this place. He informs Gideon of the message sent by God about that. that he “will smite the tribe of the Midianites.” This is perhaps the most “Italian” painting of Boucher, which at one time even was attributed to the brush of Sebastiano Ricci, the title “Two or three things, do you do one of them?” (Early 1730s) in the image of a pretty young girl. Madame Boucher, survived the artist, received from 1785, already after his death, a pension from King Louis XVI, and the whole family zealously concerned the preservation of his heritage during the years of the revolution.
In Paris in the 1730s there were many talented artists who enjoyed the favor of the king and the nobility. They were Charles Antoine Cuapel, Charles Joseph Natuar. Karl Vanloo, Jean Marc Nattier, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, who created murals of palaces, portraits, cardboard for tapestry Royal the tapestry manufactory in Beauvais, which since 1734 was headed by Udri. All of them were leading masters of the Rococo style, the heyday of which, as mentioned earlier, was during the reign of Louis XV. The emergence of the Rococo style is associated with the extinction of the Baroque style in Western European culture and the formation of a special type of aristocratic art at the courts of European monarchs. The word “Rococo” itself is of French origin and means “artsy”, “bizarre”. Perhaps it originated from the French words “gos” (rock) and “gothache” (rock), associated with bizarre curls of ornamental ornaments, with a shell shape that became a favorite decorative motif in this period (it was called “rocaille”). The elegant and graceful and playful fashion of decorating interiors with a thin ornamental relief with curls of gypsum – stucco (from Italian stucco), murals of plafonds, executed in delicate soft tones, pictures on scenes from the life of the pretty French, replaced the strict motifs of the furniture of the palaces of the era of Louis XIV. villagers – pastors (from the French pastorale – shepherd’s) or from the love of the gods. Such pictures, located above the doors (sometimes they were not executed with oil, but in grisaille technique), were called “desudeports” (from the French dessous-de-porte – above the door). They made a great deal of picturesqueness in the interiors, as well as those located in the piers between the windows of the dressing table (from the French trumea – the partition). Nadvernye panels sometimes had curved outlines (this was called chantourne), which corresponded to the tastes of the era. Fireplaces in boudoirs and offices were decorated with mirrors hanging over them in gilded frames, products of white porcelain with the finest miniature paintings (they were produced by the Royal Manufactory in Sevres), objects of oriental life – vases, lacquer knick-knacks. Pastoral sketches, mythological subjects, episodes of Eastern life were reproduced in drawings for tapestries, with which interiors were decorated. In the fashion were Chinese screens that brought picturesqueness and exotic “china” (or “chinoiserie”), as they called this hobby, to the decoration of bedrooms, offices, boudoir. In the living rooms of the palaces the music of Jean Philippe Rameau, the arias from his operas, was heard. Louis XV granted him the title of court composer, the king loved his operas. in which a large place was given to ballet numbers. The talented French composers FA. Danian-Filidor, P.A. Monsigny and Ramee composed music and to the comic operas that were in vogue for the libretto of Marmontel, Favard, Lesage. Sentimental, satirical and adventurous subjects in opera comique were accompanied by melodic and rhythmically simpler and easier music, which corresponded to the tastes of the Rococo era. Jean-Jacques Rousseau himself composed the opera The Village Wizard for a pastoral plot, the melody of which was loved by Louis XV.
Among the brilliant constellation of rococo masters of the Rococo era, François Boucher, in the 1730s, he took the lead thanks to his outstanding talent as a painter and as a multi-faceted talent. The development of the versatility of his work was largely promoted by the great demand for works of art in France and the tastes of the aristocratic environment for which he worked.
The great merit of Francois Boucher was that, thanks to him, drawing became an independent kind of art. He introduced it into the decorative decoration of the interior. The compositions created by him were often repeated with small variations, but they were always performed with virtuosic mastery. His favorite materials were black chalk and white chalk. In addition to this technique “in three pencils”, he used a pastel. gouache, performed sketches with a pen. A bright colorful spot, the use of toned paper, elegant chalk glare gives an exquisite coloristic grace to the sheets of Boucher depicting Diana, Venus, sitters, cupids, putti. graceful female heads. pastoral scenes.
Contemporaries readily copied the drawings of Boucher in an engraving and especially in a pencil manner. This technique of color engraving was specially invented by engraver Jean Charles François in the middle of the 18th century to reproduce and replicate drawings. It allowed to imitate them as subtly as possible. transferring coloristic elegance, techniques and even texture of toned paper. Outstanding masters who worked in this technique were Gilles Demarto and Louis Marien Bonnet, who created magnificent prints based on drawings by Boucher. Technique of engraving in pencil manner, Denis Diderot himself called “an excellent invention”, noting its advantages over other types of engraving.
Francois Boucher himself was a fine engraver, who was famous even before he left for Italy. In the 1730s he continued his work in etching, creating a series of fifteen pages of Etudes on the original works of Abraham Bloomart (1735). illustrations (1744-1745) to the works of Lafontaine, translated into engravings by Nicola de Larmessen and other artists, as well as drawings to the six-volume edition of plays by J.-B. Moliere, awarded by Lawrence Kara the Younger and Pierre Kanten Schädel in the period from 1734 to 1735. Great recognition was enjoyed by a series of prints of the Cries of Paris (1736-1737) featuring street vendors. According to Boucher’s drawings, engravers Simon François Ravenne and Jacques Philippe Leba performed etchings. A quivering and flexible stroke in the etchings conveyed the characteristic manner of the drawing of Boucher, in which a soft, like “floating” spot always dominated the linear principle. Bush’s fame as a draftsman and book designer brought illustrations to Don Quixote Cervantes, awarded in 1737 by Pierre Avelen. But the genuine sensation was the publication ordered by the Parisian antiquarian E.F. Zhersen, a series of prints called the Catalog of the raisonne de Coquille et autres Curiosites Naturelles (1736), in which the whimsical forms of rocaille were reproduced. Claude Duflo performed the engravings, and this publication became a true reference for artists, sculptors, architects of the Rococo era.
Memories of Italian impressions were manifested in many works by François Boucher in the 1730s. Light, gentle colors in the canvas The father’s father’s phillips (1730s) make us recall the work of the Venetian colorists. Figures of women, with their grace reminiscent of Staffing of Antoine Watteau, are depicted against the backdrop of an ideal Italian landscape with pines and a castle in the distance. The picture is written on a humorous story about his father Philippe, who protected his son from collisions with life. Seeing three pretty ladies, the son asked his father who they were. “These are birds,” Father Philip answered. Then the maturing young man asked his father the question: “Can not you catch one of them?”.
The influence of the Venetian palette was manifested in the canvas of mysterious content called Surprise (late 1720 – early 1730’s). His plot remained unclear, like the time of creation – whether during his stay in Italy, or even after his return to Paris.
In the early works of the Pastoral landscape with a fountain (1730’s, private collection). Meeting on the road (1730s, Museum of Art, Springfield, Massachusetts), Rural life (until 1735. private collection, London). Rest farmers (early 1730’s) scenes from the lives of shepherds and cowherds are presented against the backdrop of an ideal landscape. He paid much attention to the writing of objects of rural life and animals. In these paintings, the artist showed interest in the subjects of the works of JB Castiglione, the knowledge of the works of masters of northern countries who worked in Rome and its environs in the 18th century and wrote canvases with small human figures in the landscape, the so-called masters of the bamboochati. The influence of Castiglione was also reflected in the two paired paintings of Boucher on the biblical story, performed after returning from Italy. – Noah. included in the ark (1730s) and Noah’s Sacrifice (1730s). As in the scenes depicting the markets of Castiglione. they depict groups of people represented in very vivid postures, with dynamic gestures, surrounded by animals written very truthfully.
In Italy, Bush painted a lot, and based on drawings executed in nature in Paris, he created the first landscapes – View of Tivoli (after 1730. Louvre Paris) and View of Farnese Gardens (1732). Drawings to them, stored in various European museums (Louvre, Paris, National Library, Paris, National Museum, Stockholm: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), show that at the heart of Bush’s landscape there was always a drawing from nature. Yes, and in the painting Landscape painter (1730s), Bushe introduced the process of work of a young artist sitting in front of the machine. on which there is a canvas with a picture of a landscape with ruins, and next to it – a folder of sketches from life. Picturesque pictures of the temple of Venus on the slope are depicted on the canvas of Tivoli and lie on the hillside at the foot of a shepherdess with a herd of sheep. In the form of a Venetian capriccio, in which the fictional always neighbors with the truthful, the landscape of the Farnese Gardens is also painted. Composition of it. probably borrowed from the engraving of the Italian master Giuseppe Vazi, depicting the old walls of the Farnese Gardens and the nearby church of Santa Maria Liberatrica. which also had the name Santa Maria Antiqua. Bush used only the left part of the composition of the Vazi print, capturing only the walls of the Farnese Gardens, the cypresses behind them and the ruins of the old buildings. Preparatory drawings for the painting (National Library, Paris: Drawing and engraving room, Louvre, Paris) horizontal (as an engraving by J. Wazi) and vertical formats indicate that. that he had been searching for the necessary composition for a long time, giving, in the end. canvas almost square. This allowed to expand the space of the landscape, showing the depths of the cypresses behind the strict verticals of the cypresses, and in the foreground with great decorative skill to write the figures of two cowherds. resting at the old walls, and a herd of cows. This natural staff in the spirit of JB. Castiglione or the Dutch Italians immediately revived the ideal landscape.
The pastoral scenes of Francois Boucher were eagerly translated into engraving. So, in 1737 Charles Nicolas Koshen performed etching from his canvas Return from the market (1730s), and Pierre Avelen – from the picture Beautiful cook (until 1734). The love scene with the figures of the pretty young man and the cook was a great success for the customers. Perhaps it was written by Bush under the influence of some theatrical play going to the Parisian Theater de la Fuar. With the magnificent picturesque craftsmanship, a still-life is executed in this picture – a large cauldron heating over the fire and a huge metal frying pan, cabbage head on a tub and vegetables scattered around, a game to which a glutton cat is selected.
Many orders were from the artist not only for similar genre scenes in the interior in the manner of the Dutch, but also on the image of cupids. Cupid, the god of love, the son of Venus and Mars, the messenger and companion of Venus, became the favorite character not only of Boucher, but also of other masters of the Rococo era. Suffice it to recall the cupids of Charles Joseph Naturaw in the painting or cupids François Lemoine, Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, Etienne Maurice Falcone in sculpture. During their studies at the French Academy in Rome, pensioners copied the charming putti of Flemish sculptor Francois Duquenois, the “bacchanalia” of Nicolas Poussin, the work of Italian masters, depicting cupids. In canvases, desyudeports, drawings, vignettes for books, cupids Boucher personified the seasons, four natural elements (earth, water, air, fire), geniuses of art. They were portrayed with Venus or nymphs; with “Semyos free arts”, supporting their attributes (for example, on desyudeporte with the allegory of Geometry, the State Hermitage, St. Petersburg). and also in the plot of Mercury, the training cupid, as Mercury was considered the patron of the sciences. Four Cupids Cupids, depicted on the canvas of the Cupids, playing with birds (after 1730), are the allegory of Summer. The artist developed his favorite type of cupid, which is often found in his works, and four adorable creatures also look very impressive and picturesquely against the background of the ledge of the wall, overgrown with plants. This painting was written, perhaps, under the impression of the picturesque cycle of Sh. Naturora Seasons (1735) for the castle in Nogent-sur-Mer Filiber Orr. chief financial controller at the court, and then the director of the royal buildings. The art of this famous artist attracted Bush’s attention in the 1730s.
In 1734, Jean-Baptiste Udry, who headed the Royal Tapestry Manufacture in Beauvais, invited Francois Boucher to perform a series of cartons of Italian scenes. The artist still had fresh memories of Italy, and by 1736 he had created seven sketches with amusing sketches (Breakfast, Charlatan, Fortuneteller) against the background of ancient ruins, architectural monuments. Many of them were repeated on the artist’s cardboard until 1761. These pastors “from Italian life” – a kind of capriccio, as well as landscapes, written on his return from Italy. Very lively and specific characters make us remember the work of Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, who also liked to portray street charlatans and peasants against the backdrop of the landscape.
Significant order for Boucher was the execution in the mid-1730s of a cycle of six paintings for the so-called “Marble House”, the house of the sculptor Derbe on Poisonie Street. Basically, these were paintings and sketches on mythological subjects, like. for example, Venus asks Vulcan to forge weapons for Aeneas (1732), Mercury trusts the baby Bacchus for the nymphs of Nisa. The abduction of Europe (both mid-1730s), Aurora and Cephal (1733, Museum of Fine Arts, Nancy), Birth of Bacchus (mid-1730s, Collection Wallace, London). but also a canvas on the plot of the Old Testament – Moses before the burning bush (mid-1730’s). The client from “Derbe’s house” was the lawyer François Derbe. son of a sculptor. The works were meant for billiard, but the canvas on the biblical story was not very suitable for the decoration of the light rocaille interior, and, as Mariette testifies, Derbe’s lawyer was going to place him in the dining room next to the portrait of Louis XIII. According to the biblical text, God called to Moses, saying that the place on which he stands is a holy land that will send him to Pharaoh and that he will lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. This episode of the life of Moses was not common in the painting of France in the XVIII century, but in the XVII century Nicolas Poussin and Charles Lebrun, or the master of the classical direction, addressed him. Therefore, in the work of Francois Boucher. the talent of which was more evident in other subjects, this canvas stands alone, as in the very cycle of works for the “Derbe House”. Bush does not dramatize the event depicted. The strong figure of Moses is turned with his back to the spectator, and therefore his reaction to the voice of God heard from the burning thorn bush is not visible. The fact that Moses herds a herd of her father’s sheep in the desert near Mount Horeb is indicated by two sheep lying peacefully beside him.
Canvas Venus asks Vulcan to forge weapons for Aeneas – the first precisely dated work of Francois Boucher. For the first time this story, widespread in the 1730s, was interpreted in such a pronouncedly sensual manner in comparison with the works of Sh. Naturaw (1734, Fabre Museum, Montpelier) or Carl Vanloo (1735, private collection). As a steam room, a painting by Aurora and Cephalus was created for this canvas. The head was sung by the ancient poets of the “fine-boned” and “rosy-headed” goddess of the dawn of the Aurora, written with the nineteen-year-old Maria Jeanne, the artist’s wife. For the first time in these two canvases, a naked woman’s body was so openly shown. Captured by the sleepy handsome Kefal, a hunter from Attica, Aurora is ready to drown him in her carriage; The white horses into which they are harnessed are seen in the distance against the background of snow-white clouds, where two figures soar.
Sketches in the grisaille technique The Abduction of Europe and Mercury trusts the baby Bacchus for the nymphs Nisa’s education was carried out for the same paintings intended for the “Derbe’s house”. Both paintings, written around 1740, are stored in the London Wallace Collection. Pierre Jean Mariette mentions sketches in the list of works intended for the house Derbe.
Already in the 1730s, the theater played a significant role in the work of Bush. The plot from the poem Torquato Tasso The liberated Jerusalem, to which Boucher painted his canvas Rinaldo and Armida (1734), was equally popular among artists and composers alike. The opera of Jean-Battista Luli Armada and Rinaldo did not descend from the Paris scene until 1761. Sketches for tapestries from the poem The liberated Jerusalem was also created by Jean-Battista Vanloo, Louis de Boulogne and “the first artist of the king” Charles Antoine Cuapel. A romantic story from Tasso could also be criticized by Denis Diderot. In the Salon of 1761 he, however, criticized the poetry of Ludovico Ariosto, comparing it with the frivolous painting of Francois Boucher. Imagination, style and taste of both he considered frivolous and alien to genuine “strict taste.”
Bush presented the meeting of the knight Rinaldo and the witch of Armida against the backdrop of a fairy-tale palace in the form of an ancient temple. A descending green curtain, a mirror supported by cupids, a shield of Rinaldo, flowers, cupids playing at the feet of a couple in love – everything creates a refined decorative frame of the central figures sitting in several theatrical poses – Rinaldo (with a hand near the heart) and Armida (sitting in a pose Europe in the painting The Abduction of Europe.
Collection Wallace, London). Comrades Rinaldo, the knights of Carlo and Ubaldo, look out from behind the curtain. The composition of this picture looks like a spectacular theatrical scene. The shining golden-pink colorful scale resembles the palette of the Venetians.
Rare in beauty pinkish green color is inherent in the canvas Hercules and Omphala (mid-1730’s), acquired in 1820 by N.B. Yusupov. It can be attributed to the words of Denis Diderot from the Salon of 1761: “None of the artists has comprehended better than Boucher the art of light and shadow. What colors! “. The sensual strength of the bodies of Hercules and the Lydian queen Omphala. to whom he was sent as a slave for three years for the murder of his friend Iphith, makes us recall the canvases of Rubens. The canvas of Lemoine (1704. Louvre Paris) is known for the same story, but the scene is written less erotic than that of Boucher, who introduced her in the bedroom of the Lydian queen. This gave S. Blanc, a writer of the nineteenth century, the attribution of this picture to a series of works executed by Boucher for Madame de Pompadour, which was a mistake. The antique column on the right and the falling curtain resemble the background of the Rinaldo and Armada paintings, which allows one to date the picture of the arch of the forest and the Omphal in the mid-1730s.
Cloth Sleeping Venus (1730s) belongs to a group of desudeports, executed for the Parisian patron and collector of the Duke Etienne Francois de Choiseul, the State Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Louis XV. Pairing to him is the desyudeport of the Bacchante, playing the pipe (1730s). Erotic poses of heroines were dictated by the tastes of customers. For example, for the castle in Krakow, the Polish countess Augusta Potocka in 1735, Busch also performed two oval-shaped desudeps with the image of a sleeping Venus surrounded by cupids (both the Jacques-Andre Museum, Paris).
To the famous works of Boucher of the late 1730s belong Desudenhorts depicting pastoral scenes, performed in 1738 for the Parisian hotel Soubis. Exquisite curvilinear forms of desyudeports correspond to smooth curves of the walls of the interiors of the hotel, which is one of the best monuments of rococo architecture. Denis Diderot spoke very strictly about such pastoral scenes of the artist: “I do not know what to say about this artist. The fall in taste, color, composition, character and drawing step by step followed the disintegration of morals. What can this artist capture on the canvas? That. what takes his imagination, and what can take the imagination of a man spending his days with ladies of easy virtue of the lowest kind? The grace of his cowherds is the grace of Lafavar in Rosa and Cola (we are talking about the famous dancer Lafavar, EF); the grace of his goddesses was borrowed from Deschamps (a Parisian beauty, a lady of easy virtue, is mentioned). I doubt that you will find on the meadow at least one such blade of grass, which is depicted in his paintings. And then this collection of objects, piled on top of each other, dissimilar, mixed in a bunch, I dare say that he has (almost nothing) the concepts of grace, honesty, innocence, simplicity; I dare say that he has never seen nature, at least one that touches my soul, your soul, the soul of an unspoiled child, the soul of a sensitive woman, I dare say that it is tasteless. ” This severe accusation of bad taste, the “confusion of composition”, “mannerisms”, “covetousness” expressed by Denis Diderot to the pastors of Boucher, was directed not only against the artist, whose picturesque talent he valued, but against all the painting of the rococo, who persecuted his great enlightener frivolity and lack of ideology. Inserted into the gold-plated frames desyudeporty Hotel Subis – magnificent examples of the art of rococo, attracting the look of its decorative grace and purely French charm. They also resemble savory theatrical scenes, it’s no accident that Bushe deserved the nickname “Fontenelle Painting”.
In the 1730s-1740s, Boucher worked hard for the theaters of Paris. He performed scenery for the operas of J.F. Ramo Gallant Indians (1735-1743), the operas of J.-B. Lyuli Atis (1743-1746) and Perseus (1743-1746). Libretto was written by Kino, a well-known author in music and literary circles. His lyrics to the vocal arias and choruses in Lyuli’s operas were expressive and emphasized the dramatic experiences of the characters, the dynamics and passion of the composer’s music. And in the comic operas of Rameau his lyrics corresponded to the soft melodic and elegiac music. Boucher’s scenery was full of breaths of the times, easily
and delicately introduced into the imagery of the musical work, creating a magnificent decorative background for the actors.
Bush’s customers were many well-known historical figures – Frederick II of Prussia, Maximilian ill Bavarian, Swedish princess Loviza Ulrika, Russian Empress Catherine II, Polish King Stanislaw August Poniatowski, and Countess Isabella Lubomirska, who decorated his works with her castles in Lancut and Warsaw. Among them was the Ambassador of Sweden to France in 1739-1742, Count Carl Gustav Tesin. It was he who introduced Francois Boucher to the artists Gustav Lundberg and Alexander Roslin, who performed the portraits of Boucher and preserved his face for history. The engraving of the pastel portrait of Boucher Lundberg in 1761 was attended by Pauline Carmona, the engraver.
Count Tesin ordered a series of paintings by Bush called Moment du Jour, depicting the daily activities of pretty Parisians. To her belong canvas Breakfast (1739). The lady tying the garter of the stocking, and the maid (1742), the Modist (Morning) (1746). For the image of a young lady in all three paintings, it seems that the same model posed. Her graceful figure is presented against the backdrop of rocailure interiors painted by Boucher with great decorative grace. Judging by these canvases, we can reliably represent the situation of the boudoir of the 18th century. Perhaps the artist used the widely known publication De lu distribution des maisons de plaisance JF. Blondel, in which samples of decorations and furnishings of interiors were collected. In any case, a mirror in the canvas Breakfast reproduces one of them. Sealed in this picture of the family – a young lady with two children, a servant and a coffee-spewing servant, reminds Madame Boucher and her two young daughters. The custom of drinking coffee in a small living room, introduced by Louis XV, entered the life of the Parisian aristocracy and the bourgeoisie. Magnificent still lifes in all three paintings with seemingly randomly scattered elegant objects of everyday life and clothing are also evidence of the tastes of this time, conveying its unique color.
In 1735, Francois Boucher received the first royal order for the execution of six paintings depicting hunting scenes in exotic countries. They were intended for small offices in the new apartments of Louis XV in the palace in Versailles. On canvases Leopard Hunting (1736) and Crocodile Hunting (1736, Picardy Museum, Amiens), the artist portrayed the Turks fighting with wild animals. Pictures of fierce battles involuntarily make one remember Rubens’ “hunting”, and landscapes – Boucher’s early landscapes. written on his return from Italy. Towards plots in the style of turquerics, Bush will address again in 1746, having executed the design of the book by JA. Gue Moeurs et Usages des Turcs, the engravings by Claude Duflo. Scenes from the life of the peoples of the East – the so-called turqueries or chinoiseries – fascinated Bush, like many of his contemporaries. It is known that he collected objects of Eastern life, which were featured in the sale of his collection in 1771. One can only assume without certain certainty, from which Boucher and other masters of the eighteenth century borrowed these plots. These could be illustrated guide books created after expeditions (for example, the French edition of the Dutch expedition to the East: L’Ambasada de la Compagnie hollandaise des hides Orientates .., 1665), drawings of Jesuit missionaries (for example, the drawings of the Jesuit Jean Denis Attire, who visited China), collections of prints depicting the costumes of the peoples of Eastern countries like the serial edition Les Figures Etrangeres with engravings by Simon Francois Ravenne, theatrical productions. As early as 1730-1731, Boucher performed twelve sheets of engraving in the engraving of Figures chinises and tartares du Chateau de la Muette in drawings by A. Watteau. Then in the period from 1738 to 1745 he worked on twelve etchings for the collection Recueil de divers-Figures chinoises du Cabinet de Fr. Boucher .., published by Gabriel Hyukye. In 1754, he created the scenery for the Noverre Ballet of Chinese festivals, at the Teatro de la Fuar. But. perhaps the most significant work of Boucher in the fashionable “style” of China was the sketches for tapestries created for the Royal Tapestry Manufacture in Beauvais. They were shown in the Salon I of the year 742, and soon after them G. Hyukye produced a series of prints. These charming scenes with the reproduction of holidays, receptions. dance in the house of the Chinese emperor. gardens of the imperial palace, scenes of fishing were used several times in trellises. Other series of tapestries, prepared at the Royal Tapestry Manufacture in Beauvais (History of Psyche, 1737-1744, Love of the Gods, 1749-1753, Fragments from Operas 1758), were repeated many times. because they found a huge demand. In 1755, Francois Boucher was succeeded by J.-B. Wry as director of the Royal Manufactory of Tapestries in Beauvais.
In the 1740s such works were created on mythological subjects, like Bathing of Diana (1742), Jupiter and Callisto (1744), Return of Diana from hunting (1745). The Abduction of Europe (1747). Lyubov, who loved to write a beautiful female body, Bush often portrayed Diana, slightly varying the plot and composition. For example, in the canvas of Diana and Desyudeport The return of Diana from hunting, the virgin goddess of hunting and vegetation, born on the island of Delos, the daughter of Zeus and Leto in Greek mythology or Jupiter and Latona in Roman, is depicted in a similar graceful pose surrounded by adorable nymphs. Killed game and quiver with arrows indicate that. that the goddess spent all her time in the mountains, where she was seen by the hunter Acteon. which she turned into a deer. De Süddeport was executed, perhaps, for the salon of Louis XV at Versailles or for the castle of the Duke of Orleans Folies de Chartres (since the canvas belonged to the duke).
Equally fascinating is Callisto, represented on the canvas of Jupiter and Callisto, written on a plot from the poem Metamorphosis of Ovid. In the image of the goddess in front of the nymph Callisto, Diane’s companion, Zeus himself appeared, deceived by her beauty. This scene is Boucher, as in the canvas of Hercules and Omphalus. passed with a full-blooded sensual grace of the XVIII century. And in 1759, Boucher repeated the plot from Ovid, writing the canvas of Jupiter in the image of Diana, seducing Callisto (1759. Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City). Perhaps this is what drove Denis Diderot, who burst into sharp criticism of Bush. “No artist, my friend, over fifty years of age does not invite a model to himself – he works from memory, and Boucher among them is no exception: we have all the same old figures in front of us, faced and turned. Have we not seen hundreds of times this this Callisto, and this his Jupiter, and the tiger’s skin, thrown over the shoulders of God. ” Similar subjects and their piquant treatment of Boucher, of course, could not contribute to the purification of morals, as seen by the purpose of art enlighteners. And yet, in the words of Diderot, the “divine breath” of color, which he wrote in the brochure The Experience of Painting (1761), inspires this canvas, embodying the art of the Rococo era.
The plot of the Ovid Metamorphosis was created and the picture Abduction of Europe (1747). Boucher introduced her to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture for a competition organized by the General Director of the Royal Buildings Lenormann de Tourne, the uncle of Louis XV’s beloved Madame de Pompadour. In his charge was also the distribution of orders to artists, the creation of a jury to view the submitted works. Eleven members of the Royal Academy took part in the competition, and two awards were awarded to Triumph Bacchus (1747, Louvre Paris) Sh.Zh. Naturaw and Abduction of Europe Boucher. “Every artist should create a work in the genre in which he is most powerful” – such was the installation of the competition, because the juries selected were intended for royal apartments. The story of Ovid’s Abduction of Europe was loved in equal measure by the masters of classicism, both baroque and rococo. Francois Boucher created in paints a true musical overture, associated with the music of the Rococo era. Transfusions of delicate pink, lilac, pistachio tones, which were so popular in the decoration of the rocail mansions, give birth to a subtle color scheme of this canvas. Beauty Europe, the daughter of Phoenician King Agenor. gracefully located with her friends on the beach, surrounded by Nereids and Tritons, reminds a pretty French dancer. At her feet, according to the plot of the poem, Zeus himself settles down, having assumed the appearance of a beautiful white bull whose head is adorned with flowers by the princess. The whole scene looks very theatrical. Well-known critics, connoisseurs of sublime art, Lafon de Saint-Ian, Abbot LeBlanc, “the first painter of the King” Charles Antoine Cuapel, spoke highly of François Boucher’s painting, and along with the canvas Sh. Naturaw she was left in the Louvre, and the rest are sold out. The composition of the canvas was reproduced in a series of tapestries Love of the Gods, and Claude Duflo performed it in an engraving in 1752.
In 1743 two pairs of oval-shaped canvases were written-Venus’s Toilet and the Birth and Triumph of Venus. The face of the goddess looks like a pretty face to Madame Boucher. Blue, pink, red, white colors create in both paintings a delicate scale, reminiscent of the finest painting on porcelain. A great success was the engraving from these paintings, performed by Claude Duflo. For Prince NB Yusupova. agent in Paris, Catherine II, Boucher at the beginning of the 1740s repeated the compositions of these medallions, which adorned the palace of the prince, and then entered the State Hermitage.
The landscape did not play a significant role in the work of Bush. Diderot wrote about his work in this genre: “… all his landscapes are so gray in color and so monotonous in tone that at a distance of two steps the canvas can be taken for a piece of lawn or for rectangular beds of parsley. And, however, he is not stupid. This is a good painter who has fallen on the wrong path, just as a sharp mind is falsely directed. He does not possess the thought in art, he has only concetti (from Italian – tortured witticisms). Landscapes Boucher really really rarely were written from life. More often these were literary or theatrical subjects turned into a landscape. So. in the picture of the Gate of Luce (1742) the artist reproduced the plot of True stories and short stories of La Fontaine, published in 1664 and are a retelling of the novels of Boccaccio. A trusting and devout mother, who believed a cunning monk, leads her daughter to him. The landscape composition is reminiscent of the works of Alessandro Magnasco and Marco Ricci. Perhaps the canvas was performed for the library of the house of Baron Joseph Antoine de Tigny. located on the Vandam Square, as it was in the collection of his brother Louis Antoine Crease.
The rural views of Bushe are cozy and decorative and most often resemble sketches of theater scenery or compositions for tapestries (Landscape with a water mill and a temple,
1742: Landscape in the vicinity of Vova, 1742-1743; Sketch of theatrical scenery. 1743-1754, Picardy Museum, Amiens; Water Mill. 1751. The Louvre. Paris; The Mill de Quique, in Charenton, 1758). These are elegant, built-by scenic laws of composition, they have sites for actors, and backstage, and a picturesque backdrop. They are beautiful and conventional in their silver color scheme, built on thin gradations of green and blue flowers, and small figures of monks, peasants, fishermen are written in them with bright strokes. Some landscapes depict the ruins of old castles and temples. They sound like a memory of a trip to Italy in the canvas Landscape with a water mill and a temple on which, next to the purely French landmark of the landscape – a water mill – the ruins of the Roman temple of Concordia rise. And in the canvas Sketch of theater decoration Flemish tavern, farmhouse, battery of cannons depicted against the backdrop of an ideal landscape in the tradition of Italian masters with an old castle in the distance. In the years when this landscape was created, Boucher worked on the scenery for one of the comic operas at the Teatro de la Fuar, and the composition of the canvas very much resembles the description of the scenery for the comic opera School of frivolous love first set in 1744. But the motifs of the landscapes of the environs of Paris – Beauvais and Charenton – are very picturesque in the landscapes and tapestries of Boucher. On the Seine there were many water mills, and the artist often captured them in his drawings, which were then translated into engravings by well-known masters (for example, JP Leba, who created the first type of Charenton in 1747). especially Bushe wrote a mill at the bridge in Charenton, a village located at the confluence of the rivers of Mary and the Seine. According to the squeaking of the wheels, it was called “Kicke Grön”. This same charming building is reproduced and on the cardboard for trellis Fountain of Love (1748, Paul Getty Museum, Malibu). Staff figures – laundresses by the water, a woman busy with household chores in the window of the mill – look very vivid in the picture of the Mill de Quique in Charenton.
Since the year 1750, Francois Boucher lived with his family on the Rue de la Richelieu, near the Palais Royal. In 1752 he became the rector of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, replacing J.F. de Troyes, and in September 1752, Boucher was awarded the right to occupy the Louvre workshop of Charles Antoine Cuapel. although the title of “the first artist of the king” he will receive only in 1765 instead of Karl Vanloo. Since 1755, as mentioned earlier. Boucher headed the Royal Tapestry Manufacture in Beauvais. He also worked on the orders of the porcelain factory in Vincent (created in 1732 in the castle of Vincent), which in 1756 was transferred to Sèvres and gained even greater patronage of the king. Biscuits (white glazed porcelain) with a thin color painting in the spirit of Boucher (“1 e gout de Boucher”) were produced here until the end of the century. Porcelain figurine. Eaters of grapes created on the same plot as the canvas “Do you think of grapes?” (1747, a replica purchased by Count Tesin, is in the National Museum of Stockholm). The poses of the figures of the two lovers are close to the arrangement of the figures in the Rinaldo and Armida paintings. The plot of the canvas was taken from the comic opera with ballets by S.S. Favara Sellers from Tempe, who went to the Teatro de la Fuar. In the statuettes of the manufactories in Vincent and Sèvre, the modelers (the so-called masters) often reproduced the pair figures of the pastors of Boucher, charming little peasant children, merchants, gardeners, who even so called “the children of Boucher.”
In the 1750s, one of the main patronesses and customers of the artist was the beloved of Louis XV. the legislator of the Paris fashion Madame de Pompadour. Jeanne Antoinette Lenormann d’Etiolle, nee Poisson, later the Marquise de Pompadour, loved art, she tried her hand at drawing and engraving herself, like her brother Abel Poisson de Vandier, later the Marquis de Marigny, who since 1751 was the chief inspector of the royal buildings. Since 1751, Bushe taught both techniques of drawing and engraving, and the art of carving on stone – the royal carver, a pupil of Boucher Jacques Guy, who also gave them lessons in his workshop in Versailles. Even during the lifetime of Madame de Pompadour, a series of Gue’s prints from carved stones came out, in a small print run, in the drawings of Boucher and Madame de Pompadour herself. But a more significant publication was a series of engravings called Suite d’estampes gravels d’apres les pierres gravees de Guay, gravenr de Roy (1772). executed by Guy in the drawings of Boucher.
Madame de Pompadour, the first lady of France, who had been the title of marquise since 1752, was capricious and self-willed. Acting through her brother, she, for example, ordered to cut down a large piece of trees in the Champs-Elysees area, re-planning her own palace – the Hotel de Pompadour (formerly the Hotel d’Evreux) and holding open views there. Boucher painted her portraits in her other residence – in the Bellevue castle, standing at the statue of Love and Friendship Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (Portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour, 1759) and sitting with a book in the library (Portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour, 1756). In addition, he created two of her oval portraits – the Marquise de Pompadour for the toilet (1758) and the Portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour. The King’s favorite is depicted in all portraits by a young pretty lady. Boucher represented her as coquettishly graceful in oval portraits, then, in a meditative and melancholic mood, as in the portraits of 1756 and 1759, but did not create any of her mythological portraits, unlike the sculptors who represented the Marquise de Pompadour in the images of Pomona, Aurora, Izobilia , Friendship. Undoubtedly, the portraits of the Marquise de Pompadour are the best that created Boucher in the portrait genre. In the expression of the faces of his models (Portrait of Madame de Berger, 1746, Portrait of Maria Emilia Baudouin, daughter of F. Boucher), there is a certain stereotype that gave rise to reproach Bush in monotony. “A person’s face is a volatile spot that worries, moves, strains, softens, dots and fades, obeying the countless changes of light and quick breaths that are called the soul.” – wrote Diderot in the pamphlet Experience of painting. Art criticism of the Enlightenment century required artists to convey a variety of expressions of the feelings of the model, the ability to show his mind, character, and not content. as was the case in the Rococo portrait, only the transfer of the grace of elusive emotions, the heightened perception of the outer manners of man. Such were the best pictorial portraits in the Rococo style, for example, Portrait of Marquise de Pompadour Maurice Cantena de Latour (1755, Louvre, Paris), Portrait of Queen Marie of Leschinsky Jean Marc Nattier (1748, National Museum, Versailles). sculptural images of Guillaume Cousteau and Jean-Baptiste Lemoine. Magnificent and, it is believed, the most truthful portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour was created by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (1751, Metropolitan Museum, New York), which opened, however, to the French portrait art receptions of a new imagery that did not seek to flatter the model. And, of course, the portraits of the Marquise de Pompadour Boucher completely failed to meet the demand of critics of the 1750s to depict not only aristocratic models, but also the people of the third estate, worthy of being sealed. These are thought models worthy of attention. of the inherent virtue best expressed by Diderot and Lafon de Saint-Yen. Diderot wrote: “To portray a virtue that is pleasant, a repulsive vice, to stick out ridiculous – that is the goal of any honest man who takes a pen, a brush or a cutter …” -. Criticism did not like “all manner of fancy dresses,” “blush,” “flies,” “pom-poms,” which Boucher wrote so magnificently. The artist portrayed the Marquis de Pompadour, apparently. in her favorite outfits with pompons and lace, with flowers in her hair and a bracelet with a cameo.
The piquant grace and refined sensuality inherent in the atmosphere of the century were expressed in the Portrait of Victoria d’Murphy (1745, private collection), canvases depicting actresses or ladies of easy virtue (Odalisque , 1745: Odalisque 1752). The dark-haired odalisque, pictured in a frivolous pose, does not much remind the inhabitant of the eastern harem, although her bed has a table reproduced in the previously mentioned edition of Moettrs et Usages des Turcs (1746). This is a lady of the French half-light, whose image, like the fair-haired Odalisque, shocked the strict criticism. Diderot noted that the artist in some paintings portrayed his wife in the form of a “naked vulgar street girl.” However, for his Odalisque posed not Madame Boucher, and actresses or courtesans Victoria and Louise named O’Morphy – Flemish by birth. The younger of the sisters, Louise, the fair-haired “little Morphy”, is associated with the image of Morfiza, the heroine of Casanova’s Memoirs. The canvases depicting a fair-haired and dark-haired Odalisque were governed by Louis XV, and. perhaps one of them was his lover.
In the 1750s, for the Marquis de Pompadour, Boucher performed many orders. Among them, the desydeportes of Terpsichore (1758) and Polyhymnia (1758), Vertum and Pomona (Earth, 1748) and the pair Arion, rescued by a dolphin (Water, 1748, University, Princeton, New Jersey). the canvas of Apollo, revealing his divine origin to Isse (1750).
The descendents of Arion, rescued by the dolphin (Water) and Vertumne and Pomona (Earth) were part of the ordered Bush series of four panels with the allegory of the Earth, Water, Fire and Air for the Royal Castle de la Muette in the Bois de Boulogne. However, the artist performed only two of them. After the death of the Marquis de Pompadour in 1764, the king rebuilt the castle for the Dauphin of Louis XVI. who in 1787 sold it. The building was destroyed during the Revolution. The Royal Chateau de la Muette was the place where Louis XV retired with his beloved. Therefore, a gallant plot about the love of Vertumna and Pomona, the gods of fertility and the keepers of the gardens, responded to the tastes of the customer. Pomona and Vertumn. He appeared before her in the form of an old woman and vainly trying to achieve her location. are depicted surrounded by fruits, flowers and cupids. Pomona is endowed with the features of the Marquis de Pompadour.
The features of Louis XV’s beloved are attached to the Nympho Issa on the canvas of Apollo, revealing his divine origin to Isse. The mystery was why the painting was in the collection of the Chateau de Chantel. He belonged to a relative of the Marquise de Pompadour, the uncle of her husband, the Duke de Choiseul, who disliked the Marquis and wrote an epigram on her. The plot seems to have been borrowed from Boucher from Ovid’s Metamorphoses or from the pastoral opera by Issa Detush. who was in the theater of the Marquis de Pompadour in Versailles in 1749-1750, in which she played the main role. A lot of lovely cupids frame beautiful figures of Apollo and Issa. It is known that the cult of the sun-god was especially revered by the King Sun of Louis XIV and was in the center of the elaborate allegory of the gods and goddesses in the decoration of the palace and park in Versailles.
On the pastoral plot from the poem Torquato Tasso Amint was executed and the canvas Aminta, coming to life in the hands of Sylvia (1756). Pastor Silvia on this story was staged in the theater of the Small apartments in Versailles with the Marquise de Pompadour in the title role. The poem Tasso was popular in Italy, and the Duke of Pentevere, who made the Grand Tour to Italy, upon his return ordered Bouchet desyudeporty for his castle in Toulouse on the subjects of the poem Amint. The hedonism of the Tasso poem is not cloudless and painted in elegiac tones. Life is full of tragic moments, but still beautiful – the keynote of the pastorale about the love of the faithful shepherd Aminta and his beloved Sylvia, who healed him. “Believe, earthly existence is sweet,” the choir sang. Theatricality of works of Torquato Tasso with lyrical arias of heroes, choirs. musical interludes corresponded to the talent of Boucher, who appreciated the melodic style of the poet and who was able with great decorative skill to translate his poetry into painting.
For the rooms of Madame de Pompadour in the castle of Bellevue, the artist executed the toilet of the Venus Toilet (1751). His composition resembles a theatrical setting, perhaps to Loyon’s ballet The Gallant Day, which was staged at the Theater of Small Suites in Versailles in 1750. This image of Venus in an overworked interior in the style of “a la grecque” is considered to be a work that marked the end of the rococo style and anticipated the tastes of Napoleon’s empire at the beginning of the nineteenth century, since it was more in line with the tastes of the new bourgeoisie than the aristocracy of the mid-18th century . An ancient censer and a jug, a column, a magnificent curtain on both sides, like a theatrical scene, the bed of Venus, reminiscent of the canapes of the era of the empire. – all this makes the composition heavier, in the center of which is depicted a naked Venus surrounded by cupids. The sensuality of the image of the naked goddess and the bright shining without subtle tonal transitions of the paint strengthen the impression of the pomposity of the scene. The bathing of Venus (National Gallery of Art, Washington), written by Boucher also in 1751 for the Louis XV bath in Bellevue Castle, is a paired one.
In the late works of Bushe in the late 1750s and 1760s on mythological themes, Mercury trusts the baby Bacchus Nymphs of Nisa (1769, Art Museum, Kimball, Fort Worth), Venus in the forge of Vulcan (1757), the artist refers to subjects that have already attracted his attention. The first on the plot of the Aeneid Virgil was a sketch for a series of tapestries ordered by the Marquis de Marigny for the apartments of the castle in Compenê. She was part of the series Tapestry Love of the Gods, approved by the king himself, and the execution of the sketches was entrusted to F. Boucher, J.M. Vienne and C. Vanloo. The second one (she was repeating the plot of the canvas for the “Derby’s house”) was part of a series of six large decorative canvases ordered by François de Berger de Grandcourt, the younger brother of the already mentioned collector Pierre Jacques Onesim de Berger. Boucher wrote of only six paintings, only two because of poor health. Perhaps the most interesting is the second picture. New for the artist plot from the Aeneid Virgil Juno asks Eola to free the winds (1769) Bushe also treats as a miogofigurnuyu scene. The recipient of the Greeks, Juno, asks the god of the winds of Aeolus to let the winds out to destroy the fleet of Trojans led by Aeneas, the son of the Trojan shepherd Anchises and Venus. Juno and Aeol, liberating the winds (he hid them in a poke in a grotto), are depicted surrounded by Nereids, symbolizing the sea elements, cupids and a beautiful nymph. Epic poem Virgil as always acquires from Bush the character of the pastoral, but already less light and elegant than his early works. In the large canvases of the late 1750s and 1760s, there are some errors in the sonority of colors, which Denis Diderot mentioned, having too harshly predicted that Boucher will reach a simple coloring.
A special group of works by Bushe from 1750-1760-ies are paintings on religious subjects. Among them are the Light of the World (1750), Christmas Christie (1750, Museum of Fine Arts, Lyon). Rest on the way to Egypt (I 757). St. Peter, trying to walk on the water (1766). All of them. apparently performed by the order of the Marquis de Pompadour. The first three are for her chapel in the Bellevue castle. And the altarpiece of St. Peter, trying to walk on the water on the plot of the New Testament – for the chapel of St. Peter, acquired by the Marquise in the Parisian Capuchin Church. She ordered Boucher this painting after the death in 1754 of her only daughter, even before she was approached to the court. Story from the life of St. Peter was not popular in France in the XVIII century, it was more loved by Italian masters of baroque. In 1764, St. Louis Cathedral in Versailles was rebuilt. and the “first artist of the king” could be entrusted with decorating the cathedral, which became the center of the French episcopate. The restructuring of the cathedral was observed by Louis XV himself. Bush could remember about the work ordered to him earlier and carry it out in the cathedral of Versailles.
In all three paintings, the artist treats religious subjects quite freely. Cloth The light of the world is written on the plot of the Gospel about how Joseph. Simeon and Anna were the first to learn about the divine origin of Christ, who came to the world to illuminate him, and brings light to reveal the glory of the people of Israel. The heroes of Boucher in this canvas and in the painting Rest on the way to Egypt are not very similar to the biblical characters. Madonna looks like a French lady of the XVIII century, and Joseph – the ancient philosopher, the angels – for plump Cupids Bush. In addition, in the composition of the painting Rest on the way to Egypt, Boucher introduced the figure of the infant John the Baptist, who according to legend was not with the Holy Family on his way to Egypt. Diderot, as always, dramatically painted the Christmas picture, presented in the Salon of 1750: “What are his virgins? Pretty, lovely cowherds. And his angels are small, free-to-use satyrs. ” It is not known whether the Marquise de Pompadour, who read the writings of the Enlighteners, was pious, and whether she liked Boucher’s paintings. However, all four paintings have always been the most vivid examples of the interpretation of religious subjects by the master of the Rococo era.
A separate work in the work of Francois Boucher is the canvas Death of Socrates (1762). This plot attracted from the middle of the XVIII century neoclassic artists. For them, he was an example of heroic death, a stoic attitude toward her. a kind of exemplum virtutis, that is, an example of valor, as such subjects were called. Critic Lafon de Saint-Ien brought him in the brochure Sentiment sur quelques ouvrages le Peinture. Sculpture et Gravure (1754). recommending artists to refer to this story. But Boucher remained the master of his time. he treated him without pathos and didactics, simply depicting the scene of the death of an old man, not a hero. The lofty ideals of neoclassicism did not attract his attention. A true Rococo painter, he was inspired by this story, perhaps only because his pupil Jean-Baptiste Desa, an artist of a younger generation, presented a picture for this subject at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture.
It is known that Francois Boucher wanted to come to Petersburg in the 1760s in order to teach at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts.
He prepared for Russia a sketch of a plafond or decorative panel Pygmalion and Galatea (the State Hermitage, St. Petersburg), selecting a plot from Ovid’s Metamorphosis about the sculptor Pygmalion, who created the statue of the beautiful Galatae and revived it with his love. The canvas on behalf of Boucher was brought to Russia by the sculptor E.M. Falcone. In November 1769, Boucher was elected an “honorary free observer” of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. However, in May 1770, Francois Boucher died in his apartment in the Louvre, and without visiting Russia. One of the artist’s most recent works was an oval-shaped canvas of Jupiter and Callisto (1770), which he wrote for Prince Conde. The plot of Ovid’s poem, which Francois Boucher loved and to which he repeatedly returned, embodied the departing tastes of the era, which he served, putting all his outstanding talent and brilliant skill into the work. Bush had many students, most of them became painters, draftsmen, engravers, they inherited his magnificent decorative gift and love of drawing. The art of Francois Boucher was an entire epoch in the culture of France of the XVIII century. anticipating the creative rise of outstanding masters of a different time – his disciple Jean Honore Fragonard and Jacques Louis David, who also managed to appreciate the talent of Boucher.
Until the end it is not known who is depicted on the canvas. The portrait of Madame Césé Berger (1746) is one of the three wives of Pierre Jacques Onesim de Berger (Berger de Grandcourt). who possessed the largest collection of paintings and drawings by Boucher, or the Marquis de Pompadour. There are opinions that this is the first portrait of the marquise, since the pose of “Madame de Berger” in the portrait is repeated by the artist in the Portrait of the Marquis de Pompadour in 1759, and, in addition. the artist has always idealized the features of the portrayed noble customers.