(b. 1703, Paris, d. 1770, Paris)
Adoration of the Shepherds1750
Oil on canvas
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon
Boucher had never been a committed artistic believer. Although he had worked in Italy, the Italian tradition did not tempt him into vast imaginative schemes. He never aimed at a heroic vision. He expressed no glorious promises about heaven: either as an Olympian refuge for aristocratic families, or in ordinary Christian terms. Like most French eighteenth-century painters, he could not evolve a satisfactory idiom for religious pictures of any kind; and he was particularly unsuited to the task by the nature of his real abilities.
The picture shows one of his rare paintings of religious subject.