Young Woman with Flowers in Her Hair

François Boucher (French, 1703–1770)


Dimensions

Overall: 56.8 x 46cm (22 3/8 x 18 1/8in.) Framed: 73 x 63.8 x 6.4 cm (28 3/4 x 25 1/8 x 2 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

65.2637

Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Paintings

Boucher produced numerous oval-format paintings of young women. These images of female types are largely ornamental; flowers often serve as decorative motifs and the plunging necklines and exposed décolletage of the women’s dress give them a tastefully erotic allure. Boucher’s wife, Marie-Jeanne Buzeau, frequently modeled for her husband’s paintings, and it’s possible, based on portraits, that she was the model for the idealized beauty depicted here.

Provenance

February 18, 1873, possibly included in the sale of the collection of M. Bacqua, Nantes, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 23 [see note 1]. Château La Jontenir, Charente, France (?) [see note 2]. By 1936, Wildenstein and Co., New York; December 4, 1944, sold by Wildenstein to Forsyth Wickes (b. 1876 - d. 1964), New York and Newport, RI [see note 3]; 1965, bequest of Forsyth Wickes to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 8, 1969)

NOTES:
[1] As Boucher, "Portrait de la femme de l'artiste," without further description.

[2] According to A. M. F., "Masterpieces in the Art Market, Part I, the Old Masters," Art News, vol. 35, no. 11 (December 19, 1936), who identified it as a portrait of Madame Boucher, the painting came "from Chateau La Jontenir in Charente, [and] has been in France ever since it was painted..." This information has not been verified, and was not provided by Wildenstein at the time of its sale.

[3] Sold as a portrait of Mme. Boucher and said by Wildenstein to come from the Rothschild collection, Vienna, although the painting cannot be identified in available 20th-century Rothschild inventories.

Credit Line

Bequest of Forsyth Wickes—The Forsyth Wickes Collection