Venus and Cupid
15 7/8 x 12 5/8 in. (40.3 x 32.1 cm)
(1703 - 1770)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Location: Currently on view
Rococo, from the French word rocaille (rockwork or shell), was an 18th century decorative style that reacted against the classical tradition of the Academy and instead stressed color, light, movement, and a frank pleasure in living. The easy flowing brushwork and the luminous colors show the influence of Rubens.
As a rococo painter, François Boucher worked primarily in the service of Madame de Pompadour, mistress to Louis XV. His paintings satisfied the taste of a sophisticated public which was sensitive to the most subtle relations of color and liked pictures hung on the light paneling of even the smallest room.
This intimate painting of "Venus and Cupid," with its sensuously modeled nudes, embodies the French 18th century tendency to transform the Baroque style into one of more delicate elaboration and elegance. An 18th-century engraving, which P. Aveline made after the painting, is inscribed "F. Boucher pinxit."
[Gallery label text, 2008]