François Boucher

1703 (Paris) – 1770 (Paris)

Boucher’s saccharine, sometimes titillating representations of a nonchalant world belie his virtuoso representational skills. Piron was friend and advocate – they were fellow-members of a singing club with Rameau and Crébillon. David (a distant cousin) was sent to study with him, but was despatched to another artist for tuition. Fragonard likewise was redirected, to Chardin, Boucher’s neighbour in palace apartments, though later returned as apprentice/assistant. Boucher’s travels in Italy are largely undocumented – it is not known whether he met Tiepolo in Venice. Though he made engravings from Watteau’s drawings, they never met. He told Reynolds he no longer used models.