Francois Boucher (1703-1770)
Boucher was a French painter noted for his pastoral and mythological scenes. His work embodies the frivolity and sensuousness of the rococo style. Boucher, the son of a designer of lace, was born in Paris. He studied with the painter Franois Le Moyne but was most influenced by the delicate style of his contemporary Antoine Watteau.
In 1723 Boucher won the Prix de Rome; he studied in Rome from 1727 to 1731. He designed for the Beauvais tapestry works and in 1755 became director of the Gobelins tapestries. In 1765 he was made first painter to the king, director of the Royal Academy, and designer for the Royal Porcelain Works.
His success was encouraged by his patron, Marquise de Pompadour, mistress to Louis XV. He painted her portrait several times. Boucher's delicate, lighthearted depictions of classical divinities and well-dressed French shepherdesses delighted the public, who considered him the most fashionable painter of his day. He died in Paris on May 30, 1770.
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