New Book | François Boucher and the Art of Collecting

Posted in books by Editor on December 1, 2021

From Routledge (and today priced at $105 for the hardcover). . .

Jessica Priebe, François Boucher and the Art of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century France (Routledge, 2021), 270 pages, ISBN: 978-1472435835 (hardcover), $150 / ISBN 978-1003224730 (ebook), $35.

While earlier studies have focused predominantly on artist François Boucher’s artistic style and identity, this book presents the first full-length interdisciplinary study of Boucher’s prolific collection of around 13,500 objects including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, porcelain, shells, minerals, and other imported curios. It discusses the types of objects he collected, the networks through which he acquired them, and their spectacular display in his custom-designed studio at the Louvre, where he lived and worked for nearly two decades. This book explores the role his collection played in the development of his art, his studio, his friendships, and the burgeoning market for luxury goods in mid-eighteenth-century France. In doing so, it sheds new light on the relationship between Boucher’s artistic and collecting practices, which attracted both praise and criticism from period observers.

Jessica Priebe is a Lecturer in the Department of Art History and Theory at the National Art School, Australia.


List of Figures

Introduction: In Pursuit of Pleasure

Part 1: The Artist as Agent
1  Modernizing Watteau: Marketing Luxury in France and Sweden
2  Boucher and the Art of Conchyliomanie

Part 2: The Artist as Collector
3  Trading Places: Boucher as a Collector of Fine Art
4  The Business of Collecting

Part 3: The Collector as Artist
5  A New Address: Boucher at the Louvre
6  Boucher’s Cabinet of Natural History
7  The Artist Inspired: Representing Genius and the Art of Emulation


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