François Boucher

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François Boucher
La Sultane Lisant
Black and red crayon, with opaque white, some blue in the background, on paper, probably originally chamois in tone but now darkened.
10 x 13 1/8 inches (254 x 332 mm)
Gift of Curtis O. Baer.

Watermark: Probably eagle or another bird, (cf. Heawood 1271).

Possibly Paignon-Dijonval (1708-1792), no mark; see under Lugt 2520), Cabinet de M. Paignon-Dijonval, 1910, p. 144, no. 3394 [?]; Mrs. Humphrey, Trafford Park, England; sale, London, Sotheby's, 15 June 1938, lot 16, repr. (as a Chinese Woman, one of a pair with a Chinese Man holding a scroll, £ 31); Matthiesen Gallery, London; Mrs. Ralph H. Booth, Grosse Pointe, MI, 1938; New York, Fine Arts Associates; Curtis O. Baer, New Rochelle, N.Y, before 1948.

Scheyer 1948, pp. 35-36, repr. (as in Curtis O. Baer collection); Ananoff and Wildenstein Paris, 1976, I, p. 29; Jean-Richard 1978, p. 232 under no. 879; Herdt 1992, p. 140 under no. 71.
Adams, Frederick B., Jr. Eighth Annual Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1958, p. 76-77.
Pierpont Morgan Library. Review of Acquisitions, 1949-1968. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1969, p. 134.
Alexandre Ananoff, with the collaboration of Daniel Wildenstein, François Boucher, 2 vols., Lausanne and Paris, 1976, I, p. 29.


This drawing may have served as a design for an engraving by Claude-Augustin Duflos for Jean-Antoine Guer's Moeurs et Usages des Turcs, published in Paris in 1746.
Another version of this popular composition by an anonymous artist is also in the collection of the Library (Acc. No. I, 282).


The subject of this drawing attests to the vogue for "turquerie" in art during the eighteenth century. Several versions of this composition by other artists exist, including another in the Library (I, 282). According to Scheyer, the present sheet is the Boucher original which served as a design for an engraving by Claude-Augustin Duflos (Ananoff and Wildenstein 1976, I, p. 29, fig. 68) for Jean-Antoine Guer's "Moeurs et Usages des Turcs, leur Religion, leur Gouvernement civil, militaire et politique, avec un abrégé de l'Histoire Ottomane", I, p. 352 (Paris, 1746) and from which subsequent copies were made.
Anne de Herdt observed that Boucher was inspired by Liotard's drawing of "Dame franque à demi-étendue sur un divan, lisant un livre, dite, Sultane lisant" in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Carcassonne (de Herdt, p. 138 under no. 70, 140 under no. 71).
Curatorial remarks by Cara Dufour Denison.

Associated names: 

Paignon-Dijonval, 1708-1792, former owner.
Humphrey, Mrs., former owner.
Booth, Ralph H., Mrs., former owner.
Baer, Curtis O., former owner.

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