Music and Dance

Music and Dance


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François Boucher

(French, 1703-1770)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 77.5 x 131.5 x 6 cm (30 1/2 x 51 3/4 x 2 3/8 in.); Unframed: 69 x 123 cm (27 3/16 x 48 7/16 in.)

Gift of the Louis Dudley Beaumont Foundation 1948.181.1


Along with Cupids in Conspiracy (1948.181.2), this work is surely part of a series of over-door paintings that would have been installed in a house. However, where the panels were originally installed or who commissioned them remains unknown. They exemplify the fusion of fine arts and decorative arts that was common in elite interior design in 18th-century France. Even though the paintings were part of the wall decoration of the room, the patrons chose François Boucher, a well-known painter of portraits and genre scenes, as well as mythological and religious subjects, to execute them. These two paintings reflect a style that was popular both at court and among other wealthy patrons through much of the eighteenth century: light, charming, pastoral scenes that mix classical elements with pure fantasy. Both of them feature putti, chubby baby characters that add a touch of humor to the images.

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