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Boucher, Francois

BOUCHER, FRANCOIS (1703-1770), French painter, was born in Paris, and at first was employed by Jean François Cars (1670-1739), the engraver, father of the engraver Laurent Cars (1699-1771), to make designs and illustrations for books. In 1727, however, he went to Italy, and at Rome became well known as a painter. He returned to Paris in 1731 and soon became a favourite in society. His picture "Rinaldo and Armida" (1734) is now in the Louvre. He was made inspector of the Gobelins factory in 1755 and court painter in 1765, and was employed by Madame de Pompadour both to paint her portrait and to execute various decorative works. He died in 1770. His Watteau-like style and graceful voluptuousness gave him the title of the Anacreon of painting, but his repute declined until recent years. The Wallace collection, at Hertford House, has some of his finest pictures, outside the Louvre. His etchings were also numerous and masterly.

See Antoine Bret's notice in the Nécrologe des hommes célèbres for 1771, and the monographs by the brothers de Goncourt and Paul Mantz.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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