Fabulous antique French portrait miniature style painting, "The Shepherd's Gift" or "The Nest" after the painting by Francois Boucher (1703-1770) from the Collection of Louis XV and displayed in a newer (we think) gilt wood & velvet mat frame! Entirely hand painted in watercolor, artist signed in the lower right corner and what a beautiful miniature. Vivid colors and fabulous subjects including a garden setting with fountain, cherub figures, sheep or lambs, a romantic scene with woman holding a bird's nest with eggs and a birdcage in the lower right. After the Boucher c.1740 original, this is a rendition of his work that now hangs in the Louvre, Paris.
For Louis XV, Francois Boucher produced many painted decorations for royal châteaus at Versailles, Bellevue, Choisy, and Fontainebleau while also participating in the decoration of aristocratic residences in Paris, such as the Hôtel de Soubise. Among his most innovative works were two pictures of exotic hunts, La Chasse au Tigre and La Chasse au Crocodile, painted for the king’s private apartments at Versailles and now in the Musée de Picardie, Amiens. His prodigious oeuvre and the many engravings made after his works soon earned him an international reputation. With Charles Joseph Natoire (French, 1700 - 1777) and Carle Van Loo (French, 1705 - 1765) he was one of the principal exponents of the rococo, the ornate, colorful style of art associated with the reign of Louis XV. A tireless draftsman, Boucher made lyrical and often brilliant drawings that were widely collected, then as now, and disseminated through prints by such artists as Gilles Demarteau (1722–1776), who perfected a “crayon-manner” engraving technique that reproduced the soft textures of colored chalk.
Boucher is perhaps best known for his many mythological paintings, such as Diana at the Bath of 1742 (Paris, Musée du Louvre), and pastoral subjects, such as Pensent-ils au Raisin of 1749 (London, Wallace Collection). Generally idealized and lighthearted depictions of rustic life, these pastorals sometimes drew their imagery from the theater, such as the comic operas of Charles Simon Favart (1710–1792) and Jean Monnet (1703–1785), for whom Boucher designed stage sets in the 1740s and 1750s. A diverse artist, Boucher also produced religious paintings, some of them innovative, such as his devotional picture La Lumière du monde of 1750 (Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts), painted for Madame de Pompadour’s private chapel at Bellevue; genre scenes (his Le Déjeuner of 1739 in the Musée du Louvre is one of his highest achievements in the category of the tableau de mode); landscapes; and portraits. This latter category, encountered infrequently in his oeuvre, nevertheless includes one of his greatest masterpieces, the monumental Portrait of Madame de Pompadour of 1756 (Munich, Alte Pinakothek).
In addition to his many painted decorations and cabinet pictures, Boucher contributed designs for the Beauvais and Gobelins tapestry works, the Sèvres porcelain factory, and stage sets and costumes for the theater. He also produced numerous chinoiseries, fanciful and exotic images of the Far East (such as the oil sketches, now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Besançon, used as tapestry designs). He was the favorite artist of Madame de Pompadour, for whom he painted some of his most impressive works, including The Rising of the Sun and The Setting of the Sun of 1753 (London, Wallace Collection), large canvases that were made as tapestry cartoons for Beauvais. Boucher’s flourishing studio was the training ground for many young artists, the greatest of whom, Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732 - 1806), would surpass his master in invention and ingenuity if not in public renown.
A lovely little painting here, sure to find its place among your other fine miniatures and guaranteed to please! Don't miss it!
Very good to excellent condition. There is no damage or flaws to the painting itself, I removed it from the frame to scan for detail (see images) and there are no cracks or loss of paint that I can see. The frame appears to be a later addition, a sticker on the back from the shop that reframed it. The frame itself does have some nips to the gilded finish but no larger chips or damage to note. See pictures for all measurements.