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Fountain of Venus

Fountain of Venus

1756

François Boucher

(French, 1703-1770)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 246 x 228.5 x 6.5 cm (96 7/8 x 89 15/16 x 2 9/16 in.); Unframed: 233 x 215 cm (91 3/4 x 84 5/8 in.)

The Thomas L. Fawick Memorial Collection 1979.55

Description

Lighthearted, erotic decorative schemes remained popular among the French aristocracy throughout the 1700s. In this painting, part of the playfulness comes from the way Boucher painted some of the figures in gray, as if made of stone, while the others are fully human. The artist toyed with the boundaries of painting and sculpture, as well as fiction and reality.The original purpose of this painting remains unclear. While it may have been exhibited as an independent work of art, it probably served initially as a preliminary design for a tapestry.

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