Archive for the Francois Boucher Category

Yuletide Greetings, pining for Apollo

Posted in Apollo, Francois Boucher, Nicholas Poussin, Thor, Tiepolo, YuleGoats!! on December 20, 2010 by babylonbaroque

As the 21st is the Winter Solstice which is to occur 6:38 pm EST, I thought a post ostensibly about the sun appropriate.

Appropriate as Los Angeles is being flooded by rains, the sun so very far away.

Appropriate as I can unearth some images of dear Apollo; my readership seems to spike when I offer  images of male pulchritude.

Apollo and the Continents

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo


The Feast of Saturnalia, traditionally  celebrated on the 17th of December, is part of a long tradition of deep winter festivities.


Antoine-François Callet

18th century

Musée de Louvre

The Roman feast devoted to Sol Invictus, a collective of sun deities, was held on the 25th of December providing a happy “bait and switch” for the early Church.


The image of halos behind  Christian saints stems from the solar rays of Sol Invictus.

The winter solstice has provided  many an excuse worldwide to celebrate;  the winter festivities of  Yule  a colorful example.

I have only just begun to understand the symbolism of the Yule tradition, but the Yule goat, familiar to any IKEA shopper this time of year stems from this winter celebration.

Santa and the Yule Goat

As I am  mad for goats, I was interested to know that the Yule Goat tradition stems from the pair of goats Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr who were responsible for dragging the god Thor about town.

Thor’s battle with the Ertins


Mårten Eskil Winge

As much as I adore Norse mythology,

the images are often quite chaste, ; given the cold dreariness of LA right now, I desired sensual warmth.

Hence Apollo, gotta love the Greeks.

Apollo, Poetry, & Music

Aimé Millet


Palais Garnier ,Paris


Apollo and Diana


Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Apollo and Daphne

Dosso Dossi


Museo e Galleria Borghese

(That green is incredible.)

Apollo e la Sibillia Cumana

17th cent.

Giovanni Domenico Cerrini


Apollo and Two Muses


Pompeo Batoni


Apollo and Daphne


Nicolas Poussin

Apollo Revealing His Divinity to the Shepherdess Isse


Francois Boucher

I appreciate your indulgence.

I send Yuletide greetings, wishing you and your kin great happiness,

Just one more really delightful goat clip, too silly, too sweet.

Respectfully submitted,

Babylon Baroque

The Sun King By Way of Cathay;the chinoiserie tapestries of Beauvais

Posted in 17th century, Beauvais tapestries, Bourbon monarchy, Chinoiserie, Francois Boucher, Jean Berain, Louis XIV, peacocks on September 11, 2010 by babylonbaroque

My friend Eleanor Schapa recently posted a commemoration of the Sun King’s birthday (Sept 5th) on her Face Book page; I am ashamed to say I had forgotten.

I will attempt to make amends.

(Young Louis in possibly the gayest costume ever!)

Louis XIV , aged 14, in the role of Apollo, the Celestial Sovereign.

A role young Louis would cultivate throughout his lifetime.

In celebrating the Sun King’s birth, my friend Eleanor, a maven of the decorative arts, listed many of Louis’s attributes. Amongst the many contributions she made mention of the Gobelins tapestries, in particular the Chinoiserie series. Ordinarily Eleanor and I are in complete agreement, but she found them to be unattractive.

I felt a need to re-examine them.

I am NOT a maven concerning anything frankly. I have a broad range of interest and have been familiar with “The Emperor of China” series for some time. From my brief research they seemed to have been of Beauvais manufacture, Gobelins being solely royal production. I’m guessing they were part of Louis frenzied effort to sell the Franco “brand”.

I must say, I still find them exciting and quite beautiful, sorry Eleanor.

“Emperor Sailing”

from the “The Story of the Emperor of China”

after design by Guy-Louis Vernansel


wool, silk, gilt

Art Institute of Chicago

I have always admired the decidedly Western dragons, indifferent to Chinese conventions.

Another example from the “Historie du Roi de Chine “series, further explores the mystery of Cathay.

le Astronomes

from “il historie du roi de Chine”

after designs by Jean -Baptiste Belin de Fontenay


Manufactured by Beauvais 18th cent.


How the hell do you not love that peacock?

Again that very Western dragon, like Brighton Pavilion.

Of course you can’t speak of Louis’s patronage without mention of the great Jean Bérain; his seemingly  inexhaustible imagination created some of the most enchanting grotesquerie ever.

Devotion to  Pan

design by Jean Bérain the Elder


Louis XIV achieved his goal in creating a seemingly eternal desire for French goods.

This tapestry, ca. 1770, is as desirable as it was in the century in which it was designed, as in the century when it was manufactured (1770), and today.

Fashion that is truly timeless.


from the “Portieries of the Gods”

(love that name, as if Olympus had a private decorator)

after designs by Claude Audran le Jeun


ca. 1770 Gobelins


Of course my friend Eleanor had a point, when it comes to Chinoiserie; at it’s most graceful, few could compete with Boucher.

first in the series (of six)

Le Tenture Chinois

(Chinois Wall Hangings)

after designs by Francois Boucher


Louis XV’s Beauvais , 1758


All in all, I think Louis XIV’s take on Chinoiserie is typical of most of the Baroque under his direction. It all appears to be reflect his own splendor, the Chinois series merely a way for Louis to play act the role of an Absolute Mandarin.

Louis did  narcissism well.

Happy Birthday your Majesty!

b. September 5th 1638

d. September 1st 1715

Dieu Sauve le Roi,

Dieu Sauve le Roi,

Dieu Sauve le Roi!

A Boucher Kind of Day

Posted in 18th century, Francois Boucher, Madame de Pompadour, Think Pink on July 19, 2010 by babylonbaroque

As the always marvelous Chateau Thombeau, (link on my blog roll) kindly supplied the Think Pink clip from the delightful “Funny Face”, I was inspired to indeed Think Pink. When I think pink I think Boucher, when I of think Boucher  I  think of  joy.

Joy is in order.

Just one of those days of benign irritations and disappointments, Boucher always makes me smile.

Madame de Pompadour

ca. 1756

b. Dec. 29th 1721

d. Apr. 15th 1764

I thought it fitting to start with his great patroness, the ever lovely Pompadour

Now on to some Olympian lovemaking.

The Rape of Europa

ca. 1734

The Wallace Collection

Detail of the adorable bull.

Leda and the Swan

National Museum

Stockholm, Sweden

I have always loved this swan, such strength.

On to some images of dear Venus.

Vulcan presenting Venus with the Arms of Aeneas

ca. 1757


A pretty hot Vulcan for a god who is supposed to be both lame and ungainly.

Venus Consoling  Love

ca. 1751

National Gallery of Art

I have always admired the chubby doves.

Now for some Christian piety.

St. John the Baptist

ca. 1755

Evidently intended as a private devotional painting for the Pompadour. Again, pretty hot looking Blessed Saint John, cousin of our Lord and Savior.

I have always been drawn to the way Boucher renders fir boughs, they appear almost chinois.

Onto my eternal favorite, Chinoiserie.

Chinese Hunting

ca. 1742

Musee des Beaux-Arts

From Chinese Hunting, to plain old Anglo hunting.

The Crocodile Hunt

ca. 1739

Musee de Picardie

I  particularly love the dragon -like crocodile.

I am not an expert on Boucher (or frankly anything else), but I am pretty certain this is Boucher. Picked it up from another source it prompted my thinking of Boucher.

As a draughtsman, he held his own.

ca. 1770

I understand folks, particularly “Art” folks, dismiss Boucher.

Fragonard is recognized as legitimate, even with his Rococo roots, but Boucher is often not treated with great respect. I find that peculiar, I have always loved his work, a master of color and  the graceful line. The delightful and distinct red of the lips, the pink blush of the buttocks, the rumpled hair of the putti. What isn’t there to love and admire?

portrait of Boucher by Gustav Lundberg

ca. 1741

b. Sept. 29th 1703

d. May 30th 1770

Good Night