Lot 87
  • 87

François Boucher

12,000 - 18,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • François Boucher
  • Rural landscape with a young girl leaning on a fountain
  • Black chalk;
    bears inscription on the backing: F. Boucher
  • 222 by 304 mm; 8 3/4  by 12 in


Collection M.D...,
sale, Paris, Gavillet/Delestre, 13 May 1876, no. 16;
sale, Paris, Paulme/Chevallier, 6 March 1899, no. 6 (900 Francs to Paulme);
Collection Henri Monnier (?),
sale, Paris, Roblin/Delestre, 3 May 1899, no. 35;
sale, Paris, 16 June 1904, no. 4 (120 Francs);
(Michel or Maurice) Ephrussi,
sale, Paris, Paulme, Lasquin/Lair-Dubreuil, 19 May 1913, no. 3 (800 Francs to Derveaux);
sale, London, Christie's, 2 July 1996, lot 244,
where acquired by Bernadette and William M.B. Berger, Denver, Colorado


A. Ananoff, L'Oeuvre Dessiné de François Boucher (1703-1770), Paris 1966, vol. I, p. 50, cat. no. 106, reproduced fig. 23

Catalogue Note

Serene and calm, a young girl rests on the edge of a fountain, nestled in an idyllic rustic landscape.  Boucher approached his landscapes with the same fantasy he bestowed on other genres.  Fundamentally, he was an observer of nature, and his trips to the countryside at Arceuil, Charenton and Beauvais are testament to this.  From this base of observation he created a landscape formula that resonated and reappeared throughout his career.  The motifs of cottages, fountains and windmills are all derived from his plein-air studies, but the real charm of this composition comes from the harmonious way in which Boucher has arranged his figures and other motifs to produce a contrived, yet at the same time natural-seeming image.  He also wove into his landscapes the influence of 17th-century Dutch landscape paintings, which he not only admired but also collected.  In fact it was the Dutch artist Nicholas Vleughels who had encouraged him, while in Rome, to go out into the campagna and draw scenes from nature.

The drawing does not appear to be connected with any of Boucher's known paintings or engravings.  It is a fine example of a snapshot in time where Boucher has captured a young girl taking a rest from her daily duties.  It is a picture that invites you into a moment of tranquillity where we too, as the viewer, stop and rest, like the young girl at the fountain.