Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
Hundreds of free, self-paced university courses available:
my recommendations here
Peruse my collection of 275
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
Seduction in Boucher's pastoral paintings
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
downfall, crude, Diderot, sexual, refined, conventions, love, kissed, literature, Rococo, dangerous, women, flute, oral, Lemuel, touch, 1748, vagina, comic, occupation, bones, painting, golden, canvas, Pompadour, nobility, coiffed, Basket, landscape, degenerate, veins, Mannlich, together, Favare, XV, pendant, pantomime
Boucher's pastoral paintings
a                pair
two works that were created to be displayed                 
hung on either side of a medallion portrait by John Baptist              of Louis XV
both the paintings and the medallion sculpture are from         
the height of King Louis     's time as king
the epitomize aspects of 18th century French art
defined by its lightness of           , sense of beauty, its eroticism and connections with themes of love
Louis XV was known as Louis XV The Well Loved
not just by his people but by           
Madame de                   
he had several mistresses, she was the favorite
single most important female patron of the arts in France
her favorite painter was Francois Boucher
first painter of the king
director of the academy of French Painting and Sculpture
group of artists
during the time of Louis XIV came together to establish the rules of                  and sculpture and how artists should be trained
Boucher plays with                       
a part of              art
relied on skilled users
had learned how to decode painting in connection with their ideals of sociability and behavior
pastoral paintings
finished in 1748
closely connected to pastoral                      and plays
plays in the 18th century did not only take play in official theaters
also in private theaters of the                 
worked with Favart
reformed the            opera
took the bawdy and ribald performances of sexuality in                   , and connected them with refined codes of sociability that appealed to the nobility
with the idea that the more refined audiences would start coming back to the theater
             and Boucher grew up near each other
by the 1740s they were collaborating
Boucher came up with the ideas which he painted which then Favart then turned into plays and performances
Boucher also did costume design and scenic backdrops for pastoral plays
many plays derived from a tradition of pastoral literature that goes back to the 17th century
a salon culture dominated by women and the tastes of women going back to Louis XIV
by Louis XV, women set many of the standards of taste
visual arts
in the discourse of                behavior
pastoral plays
no dialogue
familiar songs in the background telling what people were doing
set in a              age somewhere in a landscape
usually a simple love story between a shepherdess and a shepherd
gives her a            lesson
girl asleep, young man who delivers a basket of flowers from the shepherd
Favart's wife was often the main lead
but not always as the shepherdess but the shepherd
quite different from many other eras
Portrait: Leçon de flute
these are not real shepherds and shepherdesses that work in the fields
but idealized
wander around the                    with their sheep and think about nothing but love
the sheep are always perfectly               
the shepherdess is not engaged with her sheep
she is learning a lesson from her shepherd who is attempting to woo her
next to them a fountain of         
connection with aristocratic way of life
the nobility defined themselves by not working
by the mid 18th century, they also had no real military function anymore
they spent a large amount of their time pursuing leisure which was their primary                     
one aspect of that leisure was the pursuit of love
a highly codified way of wooing a woman
the crudeness of sexuality is turned into something that is highly refined and coded
at the foot of the woman is a crown of flowers
one meaning is that she gives this to her lover when he wins her heart
also an erotic meaning of the             
the flute
a reference to the male penis
her being taught to play it is a reference to her being taught to perform          sex
not understood by everyone but only those in a small elite circle
Boucher's conventions on gender
male figure is seated above the female figure
                , student of Boucher
had students make many drawings which Boucher signed and sold them off
Boucher corrected the way students were painting the female body
the female body should be painted as if it had hardly any            at all
the idea is that they're curved, soft lines
nothing that's hard or breaks the eye in a way as it moves around the             
female has a porcelain white color
male figure has more of a sun-             look, more flesh tones
The Mysterious              (1748)
female and male are different along the customary markings
the man is not the shepherd but the rustic delivering the basket
man is very masculine
ripples and           
fleshy and physicality that we don't see with the shepherd
he is            character
Boucher was often criticized when pastoral scenes were shown in salons
the way these coded meanings were understood, was a kind of pastoral versions of themselves, i.e. the upper echelons of society
when they were shown at general salons they were criticized and seen as                   
where art exhibitions take place every two years in Paris
the perfumes of the fish mongers wife mixed with the perfumes with the ladies of the court
showing sexuality as having any consequences
you can learn to play a flute, but there is no suggestion that that can lead to any sort of moral                 
the male didn't look masculine enough
less friendly critics
founding member of the encyclopedia
didn't like Boucher's work
thought it was moral                     
in a later salon, Diderot, says, "when am I going to be rid of these pastorals"
women would come and linger in front of these painters and would not understand that there was a price to be paid for this kind of              activity
it was a misinterpretation of signs and symbols meant for certain class of society


coif, v. to style or arrange someone's hair  "When analyzing Boucher's painting Leçon de flute, one must remember that these are not real shepherds and shepherdesses who work in the fields, but idealized shepherds and shepherdesses who wander around the landscape all day with their sheep and think about nothing but love, and therefore the sheep which gather around them in the paintings are always perfectly coiffed."


######################### (1721-1764)
A member of the French court and was the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to 1751
  • took charge of the king's schedule and was a valued aide and advisor, despite her frail health and many political enemies
  • secured titles of nobility for herself and her relatives, and built a network of clients and supporters
  • she was particularly careful not to alienate the Queen, Marie Leszczyńska
  • she was a major patron of architecture and decorative arts
  • was a patron of the philosophes of the Enlightenment
  • contemporary opinion supported by artwork from the time considered her to be beautiful, with her small mouth and oval face enlivened by her wit
  • her husband was soon infatuated with her and she was celebrated in the fashionable world of Paris
  • she founded her own salon, at Étiolles, and was joined by many philosophes, among them Voltaire.
  • in February 1745, she was invited to a royal masked ball at the Palace of Versailles
  • by March, she was the king's mistress, installed at Versailles in an apartment directly above his
  • by May, the official separation between her and her husband was pronounced
  • on 14 September, she was formally introduced to the court by the king's cousin, the Princess de Conti, and she quickly mastered the highly mannered court etiquette
  • she and Louis XV ended their sexual relationship after 1750, but remained intimate friends
  • Louis XV was devoted to her until her death from tuberculosis in 1764 at the age of forty-two
  • Voltaire wrote of her death: "I am very sad at the death of Madame de Pompadour. I was indebted to her and I mourn her out of gratitude. It seems absurd that while an ancient pen-pusher, hardly able to walk, should still be alive, a beautiful woman, in the midst of a splendid career, should die at the age of forty-two."
######################### (1703-1770)
French painter, draughtsman and etcher who worked in the Rococo style, known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes
  • perhaps the most celebrated painter and decorative artist of the 18th century
  • painted several portraits of his patroness, Madame de Pompadour
  • a native of Paris, Boucher was the son of a lesser known painter Nicolas Boucher
  • at his death, along with that of his patron Madame de Pompadour, had become synonymous with the French Rococo style
  • "Boucher is one of those men who represent the taste of a century, who express, personify and embody it."

Spelling Corrections:


Ideas and Concepts:

François Boucher's conventions of gender in painting, via tonight's Sexing the Canvas class: "Christian Mannlich, a student of Boucher, tells us that Boucher often corrected the way his students painted the female body. He told them that the female body should be painted as if it hardly had any bones at all. The idea is that female bodies are curved and have soft lines. Nothing that's hard or breaks the eye in any way should interfere as the eyes moves around the canvas."
Tiepolo´s Cleopatra: Agency in Paint
The Political and Sexual Agency of Cleopatra
Gainesborough and 18th Century Effeminism
Soldiers, Chivalry, and Men of Feeling
Gainsborough's Portrait of Karl Friedrich Abel
The Ligoniers: The Tensions of Gender in Paint
Effeminacy and the Culture of Sensibility
Gainsborough's Cottage Door: Charity and Sensibility
Seduction in Boucher's pastoral paintings
Boucher's Madame de Pompadour: Controlling the Gaze
Rococo Eroticism in 18th Century Popular Culture
John Lavery in Morocco: Orientalism and the Academy
Hazel Lavery and the Politics of Display
Hilda Rix Nicholas in Morocco
The Dream by Henri Rousseau
Henri Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy
Restaging the Nude: Matisse's Dance
Cezanne’s Bather: Masculinity and Movement
Max Dupain (1911-1992): Australian Men on the Beach
Frida Kahlo's Fulang-Chang and I
Frida Kahlo: Self Portrait with Cropped Hair
Myth and Sexuality: Glyn Philpot's Oedipus
Australian Indigenous Visual Culture