FRANCOIS BOUCHER (Paris 1703-1770)
Reclining female nude, seen from behind
signed ‘f. boucher’ (lower left)
red and white chalk, on light brown paper
1038 x 1234 in. (26.5 x 32.6 cm)
Sale Room Notice
Please note that there is further provenance for this drawing: Anonymous sale; Christie’s, London, 2 July 1991, lot 331.
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Lot Essay

The reclining female nude in this confidently executed drawing probably represents a naiad (a nymph) as it is suggested by the water channel and the vegetation loosely indicated behind her. Such figures, both male and female, make frequent appearances in Boucher’s paintings, but the present nude does not seem to relate to any. In fact, Alastair Laing has suggested that the drawing is anacadémie and furthermore points out that the lowercase signature, as well as the handling and the pose of the figure, suggest a date of the early 1730s. A drawing showing the same composition in reverse, with differences in the figure's face and in the background, is recorded as being in the Daniel Wildenstein collection, Paris (see A. Ananoff and D. Wildenstein, François Boucher, Lausanne and Paris, 1976, vol. II, no. 391/6, fig. 1136). A counterproof of that sheet was recently sold at Thierry de Maigret, Paris, 4 June 2020, lot 73.

We are grateful to Alastair Laing for his assistence in cataloguing this drawing and for confirming the attribution to François Boucher on the basis of a photograph.

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