FR   EN   中文

Three studies by François Boucher, in a mount by Jean-Baptiste Glomy
Three studies by François Boucher, in a mount by Jean-Baptiste Glomy - Paintings & Drawings Style Louis XV Three studies by François Boucher, in a mount by Jean-Baptiste Glomy - Three studies by François Boucher, in a mount by Jean-Baptiste Glomy - Louis XV Antiquités - Three studies by François Boucher, in a mount by Jean-Baptiste Glomy
Ref : 102820
30 000 €
Period :
18th century
Artist :
François Boucher (1703-1770)
Provenance :
Medium :
For the three drawings: black chalk on paper; for the mount: ink and coloured wash
Dimensions :
l. 11.61 inch X H. 20.47 inch
Paintings & Drawings  - Three studies by François Boucher, in a mount by Jean-Baptiste Glomy 18th century - Three studies by François Boucher, in a mount by Jean-Baptiste Glomy Louis XV - Three studies by François Boucher, in a mount by Jean-Baptiste Glomy
Stéphane Renard Fine Art

Old master paintings and drawings

+33 (0) 61 46 31 534
Three studies by François Boucher, in a mount by Jean-Baptiste Glomy

Signed "F. Boucher" at lower right, just in drawings

This spectacularly large "feuille de desseins ajustés" commissioned by François Boucher from Jean-Baptiste Glomy is emblematic of the painter's art and mastery of rocaille. It is also fully representative of the taste of this period in the field of decorative arts. The largest of these three drawings, placed at the bottom of the composition, is particularly interesting: dating from around 1756, it constitutes a modello (apparently unpublished) for the frontispiece of the "Catalogue des tableaux de Monsieur de Julienne"), preserved in the Morgan Library in New York.

1. François Boucher, the master of French rocaille
The extraordinary career of Francois Boucher was unmatched by his contemporaries in versatility, consistency and output. For many, particularly the writers and collectors who led the revival of interest in the French rococo during the last century, his sensuous beauties and plump cupids represent the French eighteenth century at its most typical. His facility with the brush, even when betraying the occasional superficiality of his art, enabled him to master every aspect of painting – history and mythology, portraiture, landscape, ordinary life and, as part of larger compositions, even still life. He had been trained as an engraver, and the skills of a draftsman, which he imbued in the studio of Jean-Francois Cars (1661 – 1738), stood him in good stead throughout his career; his delightful drawings are one of the most sought-after aspects of his oeuvre.
As a student of Francois Lemoyne (1688 - 1737), he mastered the art of composition. The four years he spent in Italy, from 1727-1731, educated him in the works of the masters, classics and history, that his modest upbringing had denied him.
On his return to Paris in 1734, he gained full membership of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture with his splendid Rinaldo and Armida (Paris, Musée du Louvre). Although, throughout his career, he occasionally painted subjects taken from the Bible, and would always have considered himself first as a history painter, his own repertoire of heroines, seductresses, flirtatious peasant girls and erotic beauties was better suited to a lighter, more decorative subject matter. His mastery of technique and composition enabled him to move from large scale tapestry cartoons (he worked throughout his career for both the Beauvais and Gobelins tapestry factories, becoming director of the latter in 1755), to intimate masterpieces such as Diana Resting (Paris, Louvre) or Leda and the Swan and the occasional scene from everyday life such as The Luncheon (Paris, Louvre), with its elegantly dressed figures grouped around a well-laid table.

Enormously successful and widely bought, Boucher’s output was prodigious. First patronized by the Crown in the 1730s, and appointed Premier Peintre du Roi in 1765, he executed numerous royal and princely commissions until his death in 1770, working particularly for Louis XV’s mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour in each of her several palaces. Always ready to utilize his talents in other fields, he designed stage sets for theatre and opera and supplied drawings to be used as designs for figures at the Vincennes (later Sèvres) porcelain factory. As a teacher, he was much loved by his many students, who included Fragonard, Le Prince, Deshays, Brenet, Baudouin, Lagrenee, and Madame de Pompadour herself.
In his earliest surviving works with their colourful rococo palette, even David, a distant cousin, was clearly influenced by Boucher. Not since Le Brun had a single French artist held such a monopoly on the imagery of a particular society or left such a mark on the art of his time.

2. Description of the drawings
Although very different, these three drawings are all driven by the same creative spirit and are therefore perfectly representative of Boucher's taste for symbolic or mythological compositions, executed in a style that is both lively and vigorous.
The drawing at the top of the composition (reproduced above) represents a Study of Nymphs: three young women are lying in a charming disorder, while a fourth seems to be floating at the back. Although it is difficult to link this drawing directly to one of Boucher's compositions, the nymph in the middle, with her left leg stretched forward and her arms spread, recalls one of the characters in one of Boucher's last compositions, Mercury Entrusting Bacchus as a Child to the Nymphs of Nysa, painted in 1769.
Typical of the erotic-mythological taste, the drawing in the middle (reproduced below) represents Mars and Venus: Mars, probably guided by Cupid, pulls aside a curtain, and discovers Venus asleep. The subject, taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses (IV, 167-189), has been a classic one since the Renaissance and allows Boucher to depict the naked body of a sleeping beauty with great voluptuousness. We have not found any painting by Boucher related to this sketch.
The third drawing (reproduced below), the largest in the composition, is much better documented. It depicts an allegory of the arts, symbolised by putti practising the arts (sculpture and drawing) in the atmosphere of an amateur's cabinet, cluttered with trinkets and drawing portfolios.
This drawing is undoubtedly the inspiration for the frontispiece of the "Catalogue des tableaux de Monsieur de Julienne" (last photo in the Gallery), a manuscript presenting the painting collection assembled by the art lover Jean de Julienne (1686 - 1766). This catalogue, probably executed around 1756, is now kept in the Morgan Library in New York. Our drawing allows us to confirm that the frontispiece (reproduced below), considered to be by the hand of another artist, is inspired by a preliminary drawing by Boucher. This unknown artist introduced several changes to Boucher’s lively sketch: the putto seated in the middle of the composition (which points to the monogram) was leafing through a drawing portfolio in the sketch, while the two putti on the left have been added, taking up the theme of the drawing portfolio browsing.

3. The talented Mr. Glomy
Son of a mason from Auxerre, Jean-Baptiste Glomy began his apprenticeship in 1729 at the age of eighteen with the merchant Pierre Henry Taumiet. First associated with Helle, a print and drawing dealer, geographer, and adviser to several famous amateurs, Glomy published with him in 1751 the first catalogue of Rembrandt's etchings, based on the manuscript left by Gersaint. Glomy then began to work on his own account from June 1st, 1753 onwards.

Glomy's speciality was the framing and mounting of drawings and prints. Glomy made "desseins ajustés" fashionable, i.e. drawings mounted with a wash or gold fillet. The greatest amateurs and painters of his time (such as the painter François Boucher, who was one of his main clients) entrusted him with their drawings. On the mounts he made, Glomy affixed a dry seal with his name in full or a seal with his initial G (L.1119), as on the mount we are presenting.

He had also invented a new artistic arrangement, which consisted in tracing painted and gilded lines on the reverse side of the glass. This technique was so successful that it was named after its inventor; a drawing or print was said to be glomisé or églomisé, i.e. framed under glass in the manner of Glomy.

In parallel to his mounting activity, Glomy directed art sales, enriching the catalogues with his own reflections to make them less austere (such as that of the Conti sale in 1777).

4. The Journal des Ouvrages

This precious manuscript kept in Paris at the Custodia Foundation (Collection Frits Lugt, inv. 9578) gives us full the details of the orders received by Glomy from 1753 to 1761. Boucher became Glomy’s client as early as July 1754, and the Journal reveals the importance of the orders he placed: 90 "desseins ajustés" and 33 " feuilles de desseins ajustés " in 1754, 33 " desseins ajustés " and 89 " feuilles de desseins ajustés " in 1755, 43 " desseins ajustés" and 60 "feuilles de desseins ajustés " in 1756, etc. The price was 30 sols per mounting with gold, and in 1757 this price was decreased to 20 sols. The same price did apply to “desseins ajustés” and to “feuille de desseins ajustés” (like ours).

The sheet we are presenting is a fascinating example of Boucher's commissions from Glomy and testifies to the taste of an era for "desseins ajustés": once completed, Boucher sold them to amateurs who used them to decorate their homes.

5. Framing
We have chosen to frame this beautiful mounting with a gilded wooden frame carved with pearls and rais-de-cœur from the Louis XVI period.

Main bibliographical references :
Boucher - Catalogue of the Grand Palais exhibition (September 18 1986 - January 5 1987) - RMN 1986
F. Marandet, 'Pierre Remy (1715-97): The Parisian art market in the mid-eighteenth century', Apollo, August 2003
P. Michel, Le Commerce du tableau à Paris dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle, Villeneuve d'Ascq 2007

Delevery information :

The prices indicated are the prices for purchases at the gallery.

Depending on the price of the object, its size and the location of the buyer we are able to offer the best transport solution which will be invoiced separately and carried out under the buyer's responsibility.

Stéphane Renard Fine Art


Drawing & Watercolor Louis XV