Shepherd and Shepherdess

François Boucher1760

Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe

Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe
Karlsruhe, Germany

Shepherd and Shepherdess is one of two works by Boucher commissioned by Caroline Louise, Margravine of Baden. A passionate art collector, the margravine had very clear ideas of what she wanted and asked Boucher to paint not just people but also a couple of animals. The artist complied with her request, placing a sheep to the left of the seated couple and a dog, symbol of fidelity, on the right.

The shepherd and his companion rest beneath a tree in a lush park. Behind them is a fountain with stone putti and a water-spewing dolphin. The creamy-skinned figure of the young woman contrasts charmingly with the suntanned face of her companion and his red cloak. The lovers turn towards each other in tender intimacy; he is picking roses to fill her basket, while she rests against him, watching his loving gesture with a dreamy expression. Boucher also catered to the margravine’s preference for ‘fine’ (fijnschilder) painting, treating his figures a little less fluidly and freely than was his wont. Caroline Louise, an accomplished artist herself, produced a red-chalk drawing of a woman reading, using the face of the shepherdess as a model.


  • Title: Shepherd and Shepherdess
  • Creator: François Boucher
  • Creator Lifespan: 1703 - 1770
  • Creator Nationality: French
  • Date Created: 1760
  • Location Created: France
  • Physical Dimensions: 64,5 x 81 cm
  • Subject Keywords: Forest, Shepherd, Amorous couple, Lovers, Rendezvous, Dog
  • Type: Painting
  • Publisher: Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe (State Art Gallery Karlsruhe)
  • External Link: Shepherd and Shepherdess
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Art Genre: Genre painting
  • Art Movement: Rococo
  • Support: Canvas
  • Depicted Topic: Amorous couple, Lovers, Rendezvous

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