Francois Boucher (1703-1770), A Female Nude Reclining on a Chaise-longue, c.1752

François Boucher (1703-1770)
A Female Nude Reclining on a Chaise-Longue, c.1752

Graphite, red and white chalk on brown paper. 22.2 x 36.2 cm
Purchased, 2007
NGI 2007.3

This drawing is a study for Boucher’s iconic oil painting, The Blond Odalisque, 1752, now in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich. Its freshness and immediacy suggests it was drawn from life. Traditionally, the model has been identified as the fourteen year old Louise O’Murphy (1737-1814) who was of Irish descent. She modelled for Boucher and notoriously became mistress to King Louis XV. Boucher was a pioneer draughtsman who developed life-drawing, previously regarded purely as an academic exercise, into a fully fledged branch of drawing.

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