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Francois Boucher Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Francois Boucher (1703-1770)
Francois Boucher was born in Bordeaux. He was a proponent of Rococo taste, known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories representing the arts or pastoral occupations, and several portraits of Madame de Pompadour.
Reclining Girl
Marquise de Pompadour
Male Figure
Bird Catchers
Fountain of Love
Beautiful Country Woman
Vertumnus and Pomona

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Bird Catchers    
1748
Oil on canvas
116 x 133 in.

Responding to the contemporary rage for pastorals depicting amorous countryside games, François Boucher here exhibited young, fashionable couples in the act of catching birds. In the 1700s, small birds played an important symbolic role in courtship ritual: the gift of a caged bird from a man to a woman signified her capture of his heart. Posed in front of the ruins of a temple to Vesta, young aristocratic women dressed in exquisite finery play with small birds; some still hold them on strings while others daintily hold them on their fingers.


The Bird Catchers and its pendant, The Fountain of Love,were finished cartoons or models for a series of tapestries known as the Noble Pastorales. Eventually, the cartoons were cut up into sections and sold separately. The tapestries reveal how large the cartoons originally were and how much is missing from the cut-up sections.
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