Skip to main content

François Boucher, Landscape with a Watermill

Key facts
Full title Landscape with a Watermill
Artist François Boucher
Artist dates 1703 - 1770
Date made 1755
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 57.2 × 73 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1966
Inventory number NG6374
Location Room 33
Collection Main Collection
Landscape with a Watermill
François Boucher

A weathered but picturesque watermill sits in a landscape that includes several idealised peasants engaged in tasks such as fishing, collecting water and washing clothes. Although this landscape has an air of decorative artificiality, even theatricality, Boucher includes sufficient detail to suggest it may have some basis in his direct observation of an actual place, possibly on the river Seine west of Paris.

Watermills were a popular subject among eighteenth-century French artists, who looked to pictures of them by Dutch painters of the previous century. But there are also echoes here of the seventeenth-century French artist Claude, particularly in Boucher’s use of tall trees to frame the scene as if it were a stage set. Against a pale sky, the entire landscape is suffused with silvery-green tones which Boucher counterbalances with areas of brighter colour, most notably the items of red clothing. The painting shows his characteristically fluid handling of paint.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo