Carved and gilded surrounds with large openwork cartouches were supplied by Alavoine, Paris, in 1969, to be installed over the two original pairs of doors in the Museum’s room from the hôtel de Varengeville (63.228.1). The cartouches were fitted with a pair of overdoors contemporary with the boiseries and acquired that same year. Each painting is signed and dated by Boucher in 1753 and ascribed to the artist with the assistance of his workshop. Their sizes and shapes are the same, having been modified at least twice in the past, but their subjects, allegories of autumn (69.155.1) and lyric poetry (69.155.2), are unrelated. In this overdoor, which is of rather better quality than its companion, a blond winged cupid has emptied a straw basket of grapes and apples on to two others below.
Over the course of his long career, Boucher repeatedly painted groups of cupids, usually three or more, as the seasons, the elements, or the arts. These were reproduced as prints by both Claude Augustin Duflos le jeune (French, 1700–1786) and Pierre Alexandre Aveline (French, 1702–1760). However, the closest correspondences are with the undated etching L’Automne, or Autumn, from the seasons by Louis Félix de La Rue (French, 1730–1777). The figure at the lower left is more or less the same in both.
[Katharine Baetjer 2011]