Pastoral Erotica and François Boucher


For a while I could not figure out what it was that Diderot found so objectionable in François Boucher: he scolded absolutely everything — color, composition and especially the subject matter; his biggest complaint was the lack of energy, which Denis Diderot believed to be the greatest virtue in any painter. It was probably under the influence of Diderot’s criticism that Boucher had darkened his palate and displayed this virility and vigor, previously absent in his rather peaceful pastoral erotica. Bravo Diderot! At last Boucher is taking the bull by the horns — all flesh and blood under the pastel skin. Yet I see a touch of decadence that has survived in that detail at the bottom: our all-new, all-energized shepherd still happens to be wearing princely red heels of Versailles!

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About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
This entry was posted in Chateau Versailles, Versailles, XVIII Century Erotic Art. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Pastoral Erotica and François Boucher

  1. Alastair Laing says:

    This is a ‘couvert’ copy of a painting said to be – but not – by Boucher that was destroyed by the Customs Service in Edinburgh or Glasgow around 1880, but not before it and its fellows had been advertised in a brochure with sepia photos.

    • Thank you. This is very informative. Boucher was reported to run his workshop from morning till noon. Some apprentices copied, others worked in the master’s manner. By noon Boucher checked their work, and if it looked convincing enough, signed it.

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