This sheet is one of several studies related to Apollo Revealing His Divinity to Issé (1750, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tours), a large mythological painting in which swirls of frolicking putti encircle the main figural group. Many such drawings, and quite possibly the present sheet, would have been made not as preliminary studies, but after the painting was completed, to satisy the market demand for drawings by Boucher's hand. Here, he uses black chalk, stumped in places to create a soft gray, and white chalk highlights to deftly model the dimpled flesh of the cupids and their baskets of flowers.
Inscription: In pen and brown ink at lower left: "Boucher"
Charles K. Lock; Donor: Charles K. Lock
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," May 3, 1999–July 25, 1999.
Ananoff 355/2; Bean and Turcic 1986.29
Alexandre Ananoff, Daniel Wildenstein François Boucher. 2 vols., Lausanne and Paris, 1976, cat. no. 355/2, fig. no. 1047, p. 58 (vol. 2), ill.
Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th-18th Century French Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1986, cat. no. 29, p. 37, ill.
Beverly Schreiber Jacoby François Boucher's Early Development as a Draughtsman, 1720-1734. New York and London, 1986, fig. no. 14, p. 270, ill.
Pierre Rosenberg François Boucher 1703-1770. Ex. cat.: MMA, February 17-May 4, 1986; The Detroit Institute of Arts, May 27-August 17, 1986; Réunion des musees nationaux, Grand Palais, Paris, September 19, 1986-January 5, 1987. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1986, cat. no. 58, fig. no. 169, p. 250, ill.
Alastair Laing The Drawings of François Boucher. New York, 2003, cat. no. 45, pp. 132-133, ill.