In fact, at least two of the scenes are based on compositions made after this date: Tragedy parodies Carle Van Loo's Portrait of Mademoiselle Clairon as Medea, shown at the Salon of 1759; and Architecture reprises an easel painting by Boucher, signed and dated 1761, today in the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire in Geneva. It seems likely therefore that this set of paintings, based indeed on models by Boucher, was executed in his workshop as a prestigious commission for an as yet unidentified patron. Even though the panels were not painted for Madame de Pompadour, it was her passion for "les enfants de Boucher" (Boucher's children) that created the iconography of children humorously mimicking the occupation of adults — and such scenes appeared in many of the sculptures, ceramics, painted porcelains, and tapestries commissioned for her various residences.


  • Title: The Arts and Sciences
  • Creator: François Boucher
  • Date Created: 1750/1752
  • Physical Dimensions: w774.7 x h2171.7 in (each panel)
  • Type: painting
  • External Link: See more on The Frick Collection website
  • Provenance: Madame de Pompadour, Château de Crécy (?). Robert, Lord Pembroke. Alexander Barker. His sale, June 6, 1874, Christie’s, Lot 20, sold for £6,352 10s to Samson Wetheimer. Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris. Maurice Kann, Paris. Duveen. Frick, 1916. Source: Paintings in The Frick Collection: French, Italian and Spanish. Volume II. New York: The Frick Collection, 1968.
  • Painter: François Boucher

Additional Items

The Arts and Sciences (Supplemental)

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