This lecture focuses on the greatest mythological painting made in 18th-century France, François Boucher’s Triumph of Venus. The work was painted in the summer of 1740 for Count Carl Gustaf Tessin, the Swedish Ambassador at the court of Louis XV, and is today one of the masterpieces of the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. Boucher trained in the studio of the talented (but troubled) history painter, François Lemoyne, whose luminous and sensuous style introduced the colorful, erotic manner we associate with the Rococo into the canon of the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Prior to the discussion of Boucher’s Triumph of Venus, we will consider the gestation and creation of Lemoyne’s Bather, painted in 1724 as part of a series of mythological decorations for the wealthy patron and financier François Berger; today this painting is one of the masterpieces in the Rosenberg Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art.
This talk is part of the Second Annual Rosenberg Fête.