François BOUCHER (1703-1770) Player of hurdy-gurdy...

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François BOUCHER (1703-1770) Player of hurdy-gurdy...

François BOUCHER (1703-1770)
Player of hurdy-gurdy
39.5 x 32 cm
Signed lower left F Boucher (1703-1770)...

Bibliography :
Jean-Luc Bordeaux, François Lemoyne and his generation 1688-1737, Paris, Arthena, 1984, p. 137, n° X16 (repr. fig. 115), as rejected to Lemoine and proposes Boucher before 1727.

Florence Gétreau, Watteau and his generation: contribution to the chronology and identification of two pastoral instruments
. De l'Image à l'Objet, Centre d'iconographie musicale et d'organologie (CNRS), 1985, Paris, France,
p. 314, ill. fig. 20 (as Lemoine or Boucher).

Provenance :
Sale Vassal de Saint Hubert, Paris, April 14, 1783, n°51
Sale of the collection of Viscount Beuret, Paris, Georges Petit gallery, November 25, 1924, n° 25
(as attributed to François Boucher). Disappeared from the art market and from the public eye for nearly a century, this work bears witness to Watteau's influence on the young Boucher. A pupil of François Lemoine and marked by the influence of the Venetians Ricci and Pellegrini, Boucher was confronted with the master of gallant parties when he engraved his drawings at the request of Jean de Julienne between 1726 and 1731, just before and just after his stay in Italy.
A revival of interest occurred in 1734-1735 when Boucher gave to engrave his own drawings to illustrate Molière's OEuvres, depicting actors in contemporary costumes. This influence led him to transform his Nordic genre scenes into much more elegant subjects, as shown in La Belle cuisinière (Paris,
Musée Cognacq-Jay), La Jardinière surprise (private collection), Les oies de frère Philippe (gouache fan; Besançon, Musée des Beaux-Arts), the first tapestry cartoon of the Fêtes de village à l'Italienne for Beauvais, woven in 1736, in the subjects painted for the king in his private apartments in the palace of Fontainebleau
between 1735 and 1737 . .
The half-body musician is richly dressed in a lilac-toned satin jacket with fur trim and
golden buttons. He holds a hurdy-gurdy with a wheel decorated with ivory filets and a carved neck, as built by the luthier Bâton
between 1716 and the 1740's. This instrument, thus brought up to date, is no longer limited to dance accompaniment
and musette, but is now played in concerts as early as the second third of the eighteenth century. We
propose to identify the model with the tenor Pierre de Jélyotte (1713-1797). Born and trained at the Royal Academy of
Music in Toulouse, he appeared on stage in Paris as early as 1733, at the Concert spirituel and at the Opéra, at the age of barely
twenty. Boucher and he met in the circle of friends - and merry drinkers - the newly
founded Société du Caveau, and also at the home of the Prince de Carignan, director of the Royal Academy of Music. The painter married Marie-
Jeanne Buseau, daughter of a musician of the king in April 1733.
Jélyotte was portrayed older by Charles-Antoine Coypel as a woman in the role of Platée in 1745 (Louvre Museum
) and in 1755 by Louis Tocqué, holding a lyre in his hand (Saint Petersburg, Hermitage Museum).
We would like to thank Madame François Joulie for confirming the attribution to François Boucher on
digital photography by exchange of emails in April 2020, as well as the precious information she provided us with for
the drafting of this notice.
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