The French rococo painter Francois Boucher was born on September 29, 1703 in Paris. Under the influence of his father, who worked as a design draftsman for embroidery patterns and ornaments, he departed upon an artistic path at an early age. At 17, Francois Boucher began an apprenticeship under the painter Francois Lemoyne. However, he did not stay there and decided to be trained by the copper engraver Jean Francois Cars instead. Supported by a grant, Boucher left for a three-year residence in Rome in 1727. He was enthralled with the masters of Roman painting, in particular with Corregio and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
Francois Boucher’s meteoric career began soon after his return to Paris. In 1734, he was taken into the royal academy as a historical painter. He became a professor just three years later and was named the academy’s director in 1761. In addition, Boucher had a position creating tapestry designs for the royal manufactory in Beauvais. Starting in 1755, he worked as the inspector of the royal Gobelin manufactory, whose direction he assumed upon the death of Jean-Bapiste Oudry. Because of Madame de Pompadour’s admiration for Francois Boucher, he was named "Premier Peintre de Roi" in 1765. The royal court showered the many-talented artist with commissions. In addition to several paintings, Boucher was charged with the interior decoration of countless residencies, the completion of hand drawings, illustrations, and handcrafts.
His analysis of Antoine Watteaus’s oeuvre and Dutch landscape painting inspired Boucher to create paintings with pastoral content. He later focused on contemporary and social themes, and the depiction of pleasant shepherd scenes eventually became his main emphasis. Among the high points of his work and of French rococo are the works "Triumph of Venus" (1740), "The Rape of Europa, Leda and the Swan" (1741), and numerous representations of Diana, the goddess of the hunt. Francois Boucher’s final years of life were less successful, which was related to the increasingly negative view of the rococo style.
Francois Boucher died in Paris on May 30, 1770.