Skip to main content

François Boucher

1703 - 1770

Boucher was a prolific painter in all genres as well as a designer for the theatre, and for tapestries, book illustrations and porcelain figures. His first commission for the king was in 1735. The king's mistress, Madame de Pompadour, was Boucher's chief patron from 1750 until her death in 1764.

Boucher was born in Paris and trained probably by his father and then briefly by François Le Moyne. He studied the work of Watteau and won the Prix de Rome at the Academy in 1723. He visited Italy in 1728-31, and studied the work of the great Italian decorators. On the death of Carle van Loo in 1765, Boucher became First Painter to the King and Director of the Academy.

Although best known for his erotic pastoral and mythological scenes, Boucher was also the author of altarpieces, genre scenes, portraits and accomplished landscapes in which the influence of 17th-century Dutch painting is clearly apparent.