The Shepherdess by Francois Boucher

The Shepherdess by Francois Boucher

Now it’s hard to imagine how popular the pastoral scenes used in the second half of the 18th century. True, after the revolution they began to scold him with the same enthusiasm with which they had always been extolled and bought. At some point the shepherdess became in the eyes of the radicals almost the main symbols of the hated “old regime.”

However, in the time of Bushe such pastors of the master, as, for example, “Shepherdess” or “Nest”, were reproduced both in the form of tapestries and as drawings for porcelain sets. And, of course, a lot of engravings were

made from them, after all, it was desirable not only for aristocrats, but also for people of quite simple title, to possess exquisite objects of everyday life. Pretty, tastefully dressed cowherd boys could decorate not only the royal apartments, but also the dwelling of the poor seamstress. Of course, the latter had to be content not with the master’s masterpiece, but with inferior engraving.

The source of “pastoral inspiration” was Boucher Theater, where in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries pastoral plays with music and poems were often staged. The first plays of this kind appeared in the 16th century – in Italy. From there they moved to France. Here, pastors often took the form of ballet or pantomime. It is known that Bushe often decorated similar performances, and many of their subjects later became the basis of his idyllic pastoral scenes.

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