Adoration of the Shepherds, ca. 1761–62
Of the artists who defined French art under the ancien régime, Boucher was perhaps the most prolific. This powerfully illumined sheet unites his lyrical sensibility for religious subjects and the complex experimentation with media and techniques that characterizes works from the last decade of his career. The subject is an unusual combination of a Nativity and an Adoration of the Shepherds and appears to be one of several explorations of nocturnal scenes dating after 1755.