Francois Boucher (French 1703 – 1770)

Allegory of Love

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Francois Boucher (French 1703 – 1770) French painter, a proponent of Rococo taste, known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories representing the arts or pastoral occupations

Born 1703  in Paris, the son of a lace designer Nicolas Boucher, François Boucher (pronounced franh-swah boo-shay) was perhaps the most celebrated decorative artist of the 18th century, with most of his work reflecting the Rococo style. At the young age of 17, Boucher was apprenticed by his father to François Lemoyne, but after only three months he went to work for the engraver Jean-François Cars. Within three years Boucher had already won the elite Grand Prix de Rome, although he did not take up the consequential opportunity to study in Italy until four years later. On his return from studying in Italy in 1731, he was admitted to the Académie de peinture et de sculpture as a historical painter, and became a faculty member in 1734.

His career accelerated from this point, as he advanced from professor to Rector of the Academy, becoming head of the Royal Gobelins Manufactory in 1755 and finally Premier Peintre du Roi (First Painter of the King) in 1765.

Francois Boucher died on 30 May 1770 in Paris. His name, along with that of his patron Madame de Pompadour, had become synonymous with the French Rococo