The book and illustrative exhibition "Dreams in the Gardens of Versailles", dedicated to the 320th anniversary of the birth of the French artist Francois Boucher (1703-1770), takes place from September 25 to October 29 in the Fine Arts Reading Room (room 306).
A bright representative of the Rococo style, a brilliant painter and draughtsman, engraver and decorator, author of mythological, allegorical and biblical subjects, master of genre scenes, pastorals and portraits, Francois Boucher was a central figure in the cultural life of France of the XVIII century. Little information is known about the fate of the artist and his personality: information has been preserved that he highly valued the society of enlightened people, knew literature well, was associated with famous theatre figures and playwrights, was reputed to be a favorite of kings and representatives of high society, was awarded many honours, including the title of court artist. Famous historical figures decorated their residences with his works – Frederick II of Prussia, Swedish Princess Lovisa Ulrika, the last king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Stanislav August Poniatowski.
The artist left a grandiose creative legacy, in which there is a place not only for paintings, but also for paintings for royal tapestry manufactories, book illustrations, paintings of fans and Sevres porcelain, scenery for operas and performances. However, the attitude of contemporaries to Boucher's art was contradictory and ambivalent. So, some noted in his canvases a departure from the image of real life, excessive theatricality, coquetry and frivolity, and the master's paintings were called "mannered" and "simpering". Others admired his skill, finding in him an extraordinary charm, a world of dreams and romance. Nevertheless, the artist's multifaceted talent continues to amaze in our time, because his brush was subject to almost all genres and types of art, images and plots, materials and techniques. "Boucher was born an artist. Few people could match his skill. We can say that he was born with a brush in his hand," wrote art historian, philanthropist and collector Pierre Jean Mariette.
The exhibition presents reproductions of the best works of Francois Boucher. The mythological plots, full of grace and sensuality, enlightenment of coloristic solutions, abounding in lessirovki, admiring the beauty of the bodies of nymphs and the carelessness of frolicking cupids, fascinate. Among them are "Pygmalion and Galatea", "Hercules and Omphale", "Venus Toilet", "Diana after bathing", "Jupiter and Callisto". The atmosphere of the women's boudoir, the elegance of the eighteenth-century rocaille interiors, the way of life and pastime of the ladies of high society, we can imagine by contemplating the works of "Milliner. Morning", "Breakfast", "Surprise". It is easy to appreciate Boucher's talent as a portraitist thanks to the variety of "women's heads", and his skill in depicting the texture of fabrics and the splendor of Enlightenment outfits can be enjoyed by seeing portraits of the Marquise de Pompadour, the patroness of the artist.
Francois Boucher is a master of pastoral (from the French pastorale – "pastoral, rural") – a genre common in French art of the XVIII century and poetizing simple rural life, its intimacy and unpretentiousness. The exhibition presents reproductions of canvases "Pastoral Scene", "Shepherd Boy in Love", "Farmers' Rest", in which the artist captured objects of rural life, animal figures, conveyed the carelessness and simplicity of young shepherds and shepherdesses. The artist was known as a landscape painter. Traveling around the world, he painted a lot from nature. The exhibition will introduce such works as "Landscape in the vicinity of Beauvais", "Mill in Charenton", "Crossing the bridge" and others. An excellent draughtsman, Boucher left many drawings and sketches from nature, some of which are presented at the exhibition.
The exhibition is complemented by exhibition catalogues, articles about the artist by art historians E. Fedotova, I. Nemilova, N. Shvartsman, which will help to understand the peculiarities of F. Boucher's work and evaluate his role in the history of world art.
The Fine Arts Reading Room (room 306) regularly hosts book exhibitions "Anniversaries of the Month" dedicated to the anniversaries of famous figures of Belarusian art. In October, we invite you to visit the expositions dedicated to the 130th anniversary of the birth of theatre and film actor Vladimir Vladomirsky (1893-1971); the 90th anniversary of the birth of painter and graphic artist Ninel Schastnaya (1933-2013); the 90th anniversary of the birth of film director and screenwriter Igor Dobrolyubov (1933-2010); the 75th anniversary of the painter Oleg Skovorodka (p. 1948).
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The material was provided by the service department of specialized funds.