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Maker(s):Boucher, François
Culture:French (1707 - 1770)
Title:The Visitation
Date Made:1755-1760 before
Materials:black and brown ink, brown wash, sanguine wash, and white gouache on vegetal paper
Measurements:Mount: 15 3/4 in x 12 5/8 in; 40 cm x 32.1 cm; Sheet: 10 5/8 in x 7 5/16 in; 27 cm x 18.5 cm
Accession Number:  SC 2020.1
Credit Line:Purchased with the Diane A. Nixon, class of 1957, Fund
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art

two women standing on a staircase facing each other; younger woman on left, older woman slightly stooped, on right. Dog at the bottom of the stairs, man and donkey to the left. Older man standing behind older woman on stairs; five figures seen over bannister on the left

Label Text:
Fran├žois Boucher was born in Paris and is know as one of the leading artist of Rococo art. By 1720, he won the prestigious Grand Prix de Rome award and travelled there in 1725. While in Rome, Boucher made many copies of works by 17th-century Italian artists. Upon his admission to the Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1731, Boucher turned his attention to portriature, classical naratives, allegories, and pastoral scenes. Boucher is not commonly known for his religious works, and he did not return to religious subject matter until later in his career when his interest in Italian art was rekindled. This drawing is a copy after Carlo Maratti's Visitation drawing, probably created in the later years of Boucher's career. The attribution was confirmed by Fran├žoise Joulie, a specialist on Boucher in France, in 2019.

Boucher may have first seen Maratti's drawing in the renowned collection of Pierre Crozat, to which the artist was known to have had access due to his copies of drawings after Maratti, the Carracci, Guercino, and others. The mat indicates that Marrati's Visitation later belonged to the the collector Jean-Baptiste Nourri sometime before 1785, when Boucher probably had occasion to study it and create his drawing. Although this is a faithful copy of Marratti's composition, Boucher added details such as touches of sanguine and highlights, and completed areas that were less developed in the original, such as the figures in the background. Its support of vegetal paper also indicates that this was a copy because such papers were often oiled to become transparent for the purposed of tracing.

Danielle Carrabino, SCMA Curator of Painting and Sculpture, 2019

religion; Christianity;

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