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Venus and Cupid

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Venus and Cupid

ca. 1732
15 7/8 x 12 5/8 in. (40.3 x 32.1 cm)

François Boucher
France (1703 - 1770)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1950.4
Location: Currently on view
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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]

Private collection (Comtesse ---), Paris; purchased from her in early 1949 by Mr. Pallester; purchased from him by Nicholas M. Acquavella Galleries, New York (dealers); purchased from them by Caesar R. Diorio, New York (dealers); purchased from him by the Gallery in 1950

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