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Studio of François Boucher: 'The Billet-Doux'

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Room A: Paintings after 1600

The picture is a studio replica of a design often repeated, with minor variations. It shows the arrival or despatch of a love letter (French: billet doux) carried by a dove. The principal figure, barefoot on the right, has a basket of flowers, symbols of Venus, the goddess of love.

This picture, which is dated 1754, can be seen as a demonstration of the popularity of the original, following its exhibition in the Salon of 1753. The original is probably an upright picture (National Gallery of Art, Washington), dated 1750 and painted for Madame de Pompadour.

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