Francois Boucher 1703-1770 | French rococo painter
Born on 29 September 1703 in Paris, the son of a minor painter, Nicolas, by whom he was probably first taught. He studied briefly under François Lemoyne before winning the prix de Rome at the Academy in 1723 (Evilmerodach and Joachim; unlocated), but there was then no place for him at Rome. In 1728 he went to Rome, probably at his own expense. He was made a professor in 1737. His industry and facility rapidly brought him success, at home and abroad. His first commission from the Crown, paintings for the Queen’s apartments at Versailles in 1735, was followed by others for Versailles, Fontainebleau, the Bibliothèque du Roi Choisy and La Muette. By 1750 he was painting for Madame de Pompadour whose lavish patronage enhanced his later career. His work inspired porcelain figure groups for the Vincennes and Sèvres factories, 1749-56. In 1765 he was appointed premier peintre du Roi (First Painter to the King). He exhibited at the Salon between 1737-1769 and died in Paris on 1770. His collections, which included all kinds of curiosities, were sold in Paris from 18 February 1771.