Leda and the Swan
(François Boucher)


His mastery of technique and composition enabled him to move from large scale tapestry cartoons (he worked throughout his career for both the Beauvais and Gobelins tapestry factories, becoming director of the latter in 1755), to intimate masterpieces such as the Diana Resting (Paris, Louvre) or Leda and the Swan (ex Stair Sainty Matthiesen, New York and now Los Angeles, Private Collection) and the occasional scene from everyday life such as The Luncheon (Paris, Louvre), with its elegantly dressed figures grouped around a well-laid table. Enormously successful and widely patronized, Boucher’s output was prodigious. First patronized by the Crown in the 1730s, he executed numerous royal and princely commissions until his death in 1770, working particularly for Louis XV’s mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour in each of her several palaces. Always ready to utilize his talents in other fields, he designed stage sets for theatre and opera and provided drawings to be used as designs for figures at the Vincennes (later Sevres) porcelain factory.

As a teacher he was much loved by his many students, who included Fragonard, Le Prince, Deshays, Brenet, Baudouin, Lagrenee, and Madame de Pompadour herself. Even David, a distant cousin, in his earliest surviving works with their colourful rococo palette, was clearly influenced by Boucher. Not since Le Brun had a single French artist held such a monopoly on the imagery of a particular society or left such a mark on the arts of his time.

Oil on canvas
Where is It?
Acquired by a Private Collector
Historical Period
Rococo - 1720-1780
1989-A Selection of French Paintings 1700 - 1840.
An exhibition on behalf of Médecins Sans Frontières. 154 pages, 42 colour plates, 77 black and white illustrations. £10 inc. p. & p.

(Click on image above)
Price band
Sold or not available