The present drawing, a wonderfully energetic and extremely well preserved example of Boucher's fully formed mature style, must date from much later in the artist's career. Alastair Laing has kindly proposed that it (and also a variant drawing in reverse, in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin3) may be a design for the last in a set of eight Beauvais tapestries of the Aventures de Renaud et Armide that Oudry and Boucher proposed in October 1751. Such a dating is also plausible on stylistic grounds. The tapestry project was never realized, and its only tangible product was Boucher's cartoon for Renaud endormi, a tapestry produced in the following year as part of the set of Fragments d’Opéra.4
1. François Boucher 1703-1770, exhib. cat., New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Detroit Institute of Art, and Paris, Grand Palais, 1986-87, p. 166
2. Inv. 2720; François Boucher, exhib. cat., op. cit., 1986-87, cat. 26
3. Inv. 1827, as J.-B. Huet. Formerly also attributed to Parizeau, but in Alastair Laing's opinion by Boucher.
4. E. Standen, ‘The Fragments d’Opéra: A Series of Beauvais Tapestries after Boucher’, Metropolitan Museum Journal, no.21, 1986, pp.123-24
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