Francois Boucher, 1703-1770: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, February 17, 1986-May

Alastair Laing, Author, Francoise Bouchet-Saulnier, Author, J. Patrice Marandel, With Metropolitan Museum of Art New York $65 (384p) ISBN 978-0-8109-0743-0
Scorned by some as the exponent of an archaic style, inventor of saccharine images, revered by others as an absolute master of color and texture, Boucher seems more remote than ever with his deliberately make-believe world of goddesses and shepherdesses, his mythic and religious flights. Yet his pictures cast a spell, and this catalogue of a traveling exhibition spans the full range of his output. Boucher's women and men, nymphs and gods are ethereal and carnal at once. The world of his pastorals may not be real, but one has the unmistakable feeling that it's a better world than our own. The facets of his art include busy scenes of Chinese life, stage sets, tapestries, earthy Dutch-like peasant scenes. While the extensive notes and essays make dry reading, the 324 plates (36 in color) more than compensate. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1986
Release date: 10/01/1986
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