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Francois Boucher
Venus on the Waves
Oil on canvas

265.7 x 76.5 cm

J. Paul Getty Museum

Excerpt from The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles:

François Boucher (French, 1703 - 1770)
Venus on the Waves, 1769

François Boucher depicted a mythological world of delicate sensuality and indolence. Putti and doves attend Venus, the goddess of love, as she lounges amid a luxurious heap of drapery, while an elaborately decorative sky occupies the upper half the panel. The artist used a pastel palette of blues, pinks, mauves, and peach tones and loose, rapid brushstrokes more characteristic of his tapestry designs than of his finished oil paintings.

In 1768 Jean-François Bergert de Frouville commissioned a set of six mythological subjects for his house in Paris. Together with delicate furnishings of the period, these colorful paintings created a room of Rococo refinement and vivacity. Boucher painted the panels, including this one and its companion piece, Aurora and Cephalus, just one year before his death. The other four paintings now belong to another American museum.

Continued: Exhibitions, Bibliography


Additional Information

François Boucher: Selected Biographies on Art in Context

François Boucher: Related Links on Art in Context


François Boucher (French, 1703 - 1770)
b. September 29, 1703, Paris
d. 1770

Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: September 29

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