BOUCLE, Pierre van
(b. ca. 1610, Antwerpen, d. 1673, Paris)


Pierre (Pieter) van Boucle (Boeckel, Bouck, Boucken), Flemish painter, active in France. He may have studied still-life painting with Frans Snyders in Flanders, but by 1629 he was in Paris, where he settled in the community of Flemish painters in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, which lay outside the jurisdiction of the Painters' Guild (Maîtrise). For some time he worked with the still-life painter Lubin Baugin in the studio of Simon Vouet, where they produced cartoons for tapestries (untraced). He probably also had contacts with the still-life painters Jacques Linard and Louise Moillon, with whose style his work has affinities.

Boucle's work had a broad appeal - his paintings appear in inventories of royal collections and shop keepers alike and are now mostly in private collections. Works such as Fish and Shells (Narbonne, Musée Archéologique, d'Art et d'Histoire), depicting a cat leaping on to a rustic table heaped with fish, have an anecdotal quality that betrays the artist's Flemish origins. The subject is treated in a highly realistic way with great attention paid to the rendering of different textures. Basket of Fruit (1649; Toledo, OH, Museum of Art), in which a basket of grapes, pears and apples is depicted on a stone plinth set within a shallow space, comes closer to the French style; the crispness characteristic of Moillon, however, is replaced by Boucle's attempt to integrate the still-life elements with the background through a more naturalistic rendering of light.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.