The Dispatch of the Messenger

François Boucher French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 631

At the Salon of 1765, Boucher exhibited this painting with three others in order to form the narrative of a simple love story: a second painting depicted the arrival of the dove carrying a love letter, a third showed a shepherdess reading the letter aloud to her confidante, and the fourth depicted the lovers finally meeting. Denis Diderot, often a harsh critic of Boucher, praised the four paintings as "a charming little poem," but he condemned the falsity of the pastoral genre, comparing it to country life as represented in French opera.

The Dispatch of the Messenger, François Boucher (French, Paris 1703–1770 Paris), Oil on canvas

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