34.5 x 28.6cm [oval] ; 49.0 x 42.5 x 7.5cm frame
With his pupil Fragonard, François Boucher is rightly held to epitomise the rococo sensibility in French eighteenth-century painting. Refined in intelligence as much as in taste, Boucher's art is a celebration of surface, not superficiality. His love of silks, satins, velvets, furs and brocades is exceeded only by his devotion to the pearly properties of youthful skin, especially female skin. Whether painting the mythical subjects that characterise his larger commissions, or, as here, an intimate portrait of his wife, Marie-Jeanne Buseau, Boucher brought to the task an attention to detail and a sense of delight that are definitively rococo.This painting wittily, and not at either's expense, juxtaposes the very different beauties of a charming woman and her lapdog. The latter is a canine inclusion not without sexual connotation in the iconography of the period - though Boucher can hardly be thought to portray his spouse in the role of teasing mistress. The slightly generic cast of her face, echoing those of the nymphs and shepherdesses prolifically rendered by this artist, is attributable to the fact that Marie-Jeanne was Boucher's model for almost two decades.
AGNSW Handbook, 1999.
James Oswald Fairfax AC (Australia, b.1933), Oct 1970-04 Jun 1992, Bowral/New South Wales/Australia, Gift of James Fairfax 1992. Purchased by James Fairfax from Agnew's 1970.
Agnew's, London (England, estab. 1817), 05 Mar 1970-Oct 1970, London/England, Purchased by Agnew's from Palais Galliera, 5 March 1970, lot no. 16. Agnew's stock number 32603. Sold to James Fairfax, October 1970. Purchased by Fairfax from the exhibition 'Paintings and drawings from Agnew's London' held at David Jones Art Gallery, Sydney 7-24 October 1970.
Mme Hector Pétin (France), 1964-05 Mar 1970, France, by 1964, lent by Mme. Pétin to 'François Boucher: premier peintre du roi 1703-1770' Galerie Cailleux May-June 1964. Sold Palais Galliera, 5 March 1970, lot no.16 'Dessins, aquarelles et tableaux anciens; tableaux modernes; objet d'art; meubles et sièges; suites d'importantes tapisseries.'
Hector Pétin (France), 1932-1964, France, by 1932, lent by Hector Pétin to 'François Boucher (1703-1770)', Galerie Jean Charpentier 1932
Joseph Bardac (France), 1907-pre 1925, Paris/France, by 1907, listed in 'François Boucher, premier peintre du roi' by Pierre de Nolhac 1907, as collection Joseph Bardac. Not listed in 1925 edition.
C.J. Wertheimer (d.1912?), 1906, [dealer] by 1906, listed in 'French art from Watteau to Prud'hon' by Joshua James Foster, vol.2 1906, as collection Wertheimer
Andrew Grimwade (Australia) (Editor), Gerard Vaughan (Australia) (Editor), Great philanthropists on trial : the art of the bequest, Melbourne, 2006, 129.
Richard Beresford (England; Australia) (Author), Peter Raissis (Australia) (Author), The James Fairfax collection of old master paintings, drawings and prints, Domain, 2003, 36 (colour illus.), 37-39. cat.no. 7
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 30 (colour illus.).
Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia, estab. 1874) (Author), Great gifts, great patrons: an exhibition celebrating private patronage of the Gallery, Sydney, 1994. no catalogue numbers
'James Fairfax: a remarkable collector of old masters' by Catherin Fisher, pg. 3-8, Apollo Jun 1994, Jun 1994, 4, 6. fig. 3
'The James O. Fairfax collection' by Edmund Capon, Christie's International Magazine Oct 1994-Oct 1994, Oct 1994-Oct 1994, 7 (illus.).
Ewen McDonald (Australia) (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, Sydney, 1994, 124 (colour illus.).
'Chronique des arts', Gazette des Beaux-Arts Mar 1993, Mar 1993, 31 (illus.). no. 149
Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia, estab. 1874) (Author), The James Fairfax collection of old masters, Domain, 1992, cover (colour illus). no catalogue numbers
Stair Sainty Matthiesen, New York (United States of America), François Boucher: his circle and influence, New York, 1987, 10. note 4
Georges Brunel (Author), Boucher, London, 1987, 44.
Metropolitan Museum of Art (United States of America), François Boucher, 1703-1770, New York, 1986, 196. under cat.no. 38
Alexandre Ananoff (Author), L'opera completa di Boucher, Milan, 1980, 107 (illus.), 108. cat.no. 278
David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney (Australia, estab. 1928), 'Private treasures': an exhibition of art from Australian private collectors covering a period of five centuries, Sydney, 1978. cat.no. 8
Alexandre Ananoff (Author), François Boucher, Lausanne, 1976, vol.1, 384 (illus.). no. 268, fig.no. 801
David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney (Australia, estab. 1928) (Author), Paintings and drawings from Agnew's, London, 1970. cat.no. 27
Royal Academy of Arts (England, estab. 1768), France in the eighteenth century, London, 1968, 48. cat.no. 45
'Who was Boucher's best beloved?' by Jean Cailleux, pg. i-vi 'L'Art du dix-huitième siècle', no.15, The Burlington Magazine Feb 1966, Feb 1966, iv, v (illus.), vi. fig. 5, note 20
The Connoisseur Sep 1964, Sep 1964, 49.
'Francois Boucher' by Pierre du Colombier, Journal de l'Amateur d'Art [no.333] 10 Jun 1964, 10 Jun 1964, 17 (illus.).
Galerie Cailleux (France), François Boucher: premier peintre du roi 1703-1770, Paris, 1964, (illus.). cat.no. 31
Galerie Seligmann (France), Portraits français, de 1400 à 1900, 1936, 42. cat.no.46
Galerie Seligmann (France), Réhabilitation du sujet, 1934, 27. cat.no.14
Galerie Charpentier (France), François Boucher (1703-1770), Paris, 1932, 44. cat.no.99
Pierre de Nolhac (Author), François Boucher, premier peintre du Rois, revised edition, Paris, 1925, opp. p. 168 (illus.). as formerly collection Bardac
Pierre de Nolhac (Author), François Boucher, premier peintre du roi, Paris, 1907, opp. p. 98 (illus.). as collection Bardac
Joshua James Foster (Editor), French art from Watteau to Prud'hon, London, 1905-1906, vol.2, opp. p.104 (illus.). plate no. XXXI, 'A young lady holding a pug dog' as collection Wertheimer
François Boucher (1703-1770), Galerie Charpentier, 09 Jun 1932–10 Jul 1932.
Réhabilitation du sujet, Galerie Seligmann, 17 Nov 1934–09 Dec 1934.
Portraits français, de 1400 à 1900, Galerie Seligmann, 09 Jun 1936–01 Jul 1936.
François Boucher: premier peintre du roi 1703-1770, Galerie Cailleux, May 1964–Jun 1964.
France in the eighteenth century, Royal Academy of Arts, 06 Jan 1968–03 Mar 1968.
Paintings and drawings from Agnew's London, David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, 07 Oct 1970–24 Oct 1970.
'Private treasures': an exhibition of art from Australian private collectors covering a period of five centuries, David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, 10 Jan 1978–21 Jan 1978.
The James Fairfax collection of old masters, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 25 Apr 1992–14 Jun 1992.
Great gifts, great patrons, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 17 Aug 1994–19 Oct 1994.
The James Fairfax collection of old master paintings, drawings and prints, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 17 Apr 2003–20 Jul 2003.