Madame Marguerite Bergeret was the wife and sister of two of the eighteenth century's most ardent art patrons. Her brother, the Abbé Jean Claude de Saint-Non traveled to Italy with Hubert Robert and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Her husband, Jacques Onésime Bergeret, a wealthy financier, became a celebrated connoisseur and collector.
In the 1740s Boucher was establishing himself as a mature painter in Parisian art circles. In this portrait he defines the chic of that decade: Madame Bergeret is placed in a garden setting, dressed in a creamy silk gown, tight in the bodice with puffed sleeves highlighted with blue ribbons. Her face glows with youth and beauty depicted in translucent whites. The most important motif, and the charm of the composition, is the profusion of roses -- emerging from a bronze vase, decorating her sleeves and hair, and arranged across the bench and on the foreground plane. Sacred to Venus, the rose was a symbol well suited for a portrait of Bergeret's beloved wife.
Boucher's vast talents were quickly noticed by the King's new mistress Madame de Pompadour. Boucher became her favorite painter, and he produced several portraits of her, the most celebrated modeled on his earlier depiction of Madame Bergeret.