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A young man with a flute gazes languidly at his companion, a rosy-cheeked, barefoot woman dressed in red silk who returns his gaze longingly. Another youth offers a shell full of fresh water to a dainty maiden in a diaphanous gown of purple-gold and red satin. These amorous couples, accompanied by young children frolicking with goats, appear in an idyllic setting of lush, green, leafy trees under a pale blue sky with gray-pink clouds. By blending sensuality, covert eroticism, and refinement, pastoral paintings such as these brought the world of aristocratic society and amorous games to the countryside. The pastoral genre in which François Boucher excelled delighted his patrons, answering the contemporary nostalgia for nature and excluding coarse reality.

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