François Boucher and His Chinoiserie
In this master's thesis, I reexamine the Chinoiserie of the French Rococo artist François Boucher (1703-1770). First, I discuss the French concept of China during the first half of the eighteenth century. Second, I analyze how Boucher's Chinese collection and interests in the Far East informed his art and his Chinoiserie. Finally, I scrutinize Boucher's Chinoiserie designs, focusing on his tapestry sketches. My argument is that Boucher's Chinoiserie has been characterized by contemporary art historians as a masquerade of a fête galante, strewn with miscellaneous Chinese pieces. However, through my investigation, I find Boucher's Chinoiserie laden with many authentic details, rendering a relatively convincing effect, especially in comparison with contemporaneous Chinoiserie works, illustrations in travelogues on China, and imported Chinese porcelain pieces, which made his work distinctive in the period.
Table of Contents
Abstract -- List of Illustrations -- Introduction -- French Philosophical, Social, and Aesthetic Conception of China During the First Half of the Eighteenth Century -- Boucher and His Chinoiserie -- Conclusion -- Illustrations -- Reference List -- Vita.