Plan your visit. 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York, NY 10016.
François Boucher was one of the most prolific and varied draftsmen in eighteenth-century France. He claimed to have produced more than ten thousand drawings during his fifty-year career and worked in nearly every medium, from red and black chalks to ink and wash to oil on paper and pastel. In this essay, Alastair Lang—who is currently preparing a catalogue raisonné of the artist's drawings—explores the close connection between Boucher's drawings and the patrons who collected them. An analysis of the complex relationship between the owners of Boucher's drawings (the for “whom”) and the creation of prints reproducing them, including those in the new chalk manner, yields a more nuanced view of the function (the for “what”) of Boucher's drawings. Laing's explication of the ways I which patronage, printmaking, and the art market affected Boucher's production of drawings is essential to any study of the artist.