The Waterfalls of Tivoli, François Boucher
François Boucher
The Waterfalls of Tivoli
DE
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Related external works

Counterpart

François Boucher, Gezicht op de watervallen bij Tivoli met de tempel van de Sybille / Ansicht der Wasserfälle von Tivoli mit dem Tempel der Sibylle, 1730, weiße und schwarze Kreide auf blauem Papier, 315 x 420 mm. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Inv. Nr. RP-T-1953-191

François Boucher

The Waterfalls of Tivoli, 1730


Blatt
320 x 439 mm
Physical Description
Black and white chalk on blue laid paper
Inventory Number
1217
Object Number
1217 Z
Acquisition
Acquired before 1862
Status
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)

Texts

About the Work

When drawing 'The Waterfalls of Tivoli', François Boucher employed the same technique - namely black and white chalk on blue paper - which Hyacinthe Rigaud had used at about the same time for his portrait drawing. The effect, however, is completely different. While Rigaud defines his objects with elegant clarity and the finest material differentiation, Boucher creates an atmospheric picture in which the structures of rock, vegetation and cascading water are suggestively interwoven. Only slowly, though all the more intensively, does the eye perceive the movement of the water as it swirls around the rocks, the rising mist on the water and other details.

Boucher came from a humble background and would eventually work his way up to become the leading court painter of the Rococo age, the era of Louis XV and his art-loving mistress, Madame de Pompadour. 'The Waterfalls of Tivoli' was created - together with a companion work which is today in the Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam - during Boucher's early period, while he was in Italy, a trip the artist undertook between 1728 and 1731. He did not possess the coveted and hotly contested status of scholar, but was in close contact with the Académie de France in Rome, whose director at the time was Nicolas Vleughels. Vleughels encouraged young painters to produce landscape studies outdoors. This may be why Boucher recorded in large-format drawings the magnificent waterfalls in the mountains east of Rome, which were already a main destination of landscape painters in the seventeenth century. What seems remarkable about the sheet in the Städel Museum is not only the discipline and considered approach to drawing which the young Boucher displayed; it is also one in which the famous picturesque view is depicted not as overpowering, but rather as a cultivated experience for the senses.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
The Waterfalls of Tivoli
Draughtsman
Production Place
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Black and white chalk on blue laid paper
Material
Technique
Geographic Reference
Production Reason
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert, datiert und bezeichnet unten links: FR: BOUCHER / F. Roma. 1730.
Captions Added Later
Verso Stempel der Sammlung Achylle Ryhiner, Basel (Lugt 2164); Sammlung Theodor Falkeisen und Johann Friedrich Huber, Basel (Lugt 1008); Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2356)
Watermark
  • Nicht geprüft

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
CC BY-SA 4.0 Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquisition
Acquired before 1862

Work Content

Motifs and References

Iconclass

Primary
  • 61E(TIVOLI) names of cities and villages (TIVOLI)
  • 25H216 waterfall
  • 25H1 landscapes in the temperate zone
Secondary
  • 61D(SABINER BERGE) geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (SABINER BERGE) (SABINER BERGE)

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Last update

02.12.2020