François Boucher and the Art of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century France  book cover
1st Edition

François Boucher and the Art of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century France

ISBN 9781472435835
Published November 30, 2021 by Routledge
270 Pages 30 Color & 52 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

While earlier studies have focused predominantly on artist François Boucher’s artistic style and identity, this book presents the first full-length interdisciplinary study of Boucher’s prolific collection of around 13,500 objects including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, porcelain, shells, minerals, and other imported curios.

It discusses the types of objects he collected, the networks through which he acquired them, and their spectacular display in his custom-designed studio at the Louvre, where he lived and worked for nearly two decades. This book explores the role his collection played in the development of his art, his studio, his friendships, and the burgeoning market for luxury goods in mid-eighteenth-century France. In doing so, it sheds new light on the relationship between Boucher’s artistic and collecting practices, which attracted both praise and criticism from period observers.

The book will appeal to scholars working in art history, museum studies, and French history.

Table of Contents

Introduction: In pursuit of pleasure Part 1: The artist as agent 1. Modernizing Watteau: Marketing luxury in France and Sweden 2. Boucher and the art of Conchyliomanie Part 2: The artist as collector 3. Trading places: Boucher as a collector of fine art 4. The business of collecting Part 3: The collector as artist 5. A new address: Boucher at the Louvre 6. Boucher’s cabinet of natural history 7. The artist inspired: Representing genius and the art of emulation

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Jessica Priebe is a Lecturer in the Department of Art History and Theory at the National Art School, Australia.