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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Francois Boucher (1703-70)

( Originally Published 1955 )

Popular exponent of the Rococo style of painting in France. As the de Goncourt brothers wrote, "Boucher was one of those men who indicate the taste of a century, express, personify, embody it. In him, French eighteenth century taste was manifest, in all the peculiarity of its character." Boucher stands for the academic triumph of the new intimate Rococo "realism" over the pompous "Grand Style". of the days of Louis XIV- This Rococo style stems, of course, from the fragile art of Watteau which Boucher learned in the process of engraving copies of Watteau's work. But he converted Watteau's manner into a decorative formula of larger and more precise forms, more appropriate for the walls and ceilings he was constantly commissioned to decorate. With Boucher the human form inclined toward a stereotype of doll-like, winsome proportions, of peachcolored flesh, often in situations of gay and frankly erotic abandon, as can be seen in numerous of his masterpieces in the Wallace Collection, London.

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