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One of the most imaginative and fascinating artists of eighteenth-century France, Edme Bouchardon (1698–1762) was instrumental in the transition from Rococo to Neoclassicism. Much celebrated in his time as both a sculptor and draftsman, he created some of the best-known images of the age of Louis XV.
This major international loan exhibition, developed in partnership with the Louvre, is a testament to the remarkable variety of his oeuvre—copies after the antique, subjects of history and mythology, portraiture, anatomical studies, ornament, fountains, and tombs—and to his masterful techniques in drawings, sculptures, medals, and prints.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether you go or not, Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment, the lavishly illustrated exhibition catalog, represents an unprecedented and thorough survey on this major and unique artist from the Age of Enlightenment, offering in-depth scholarship based on unpublished material. Edme Bouchardon (1698–1762) was instrumental in the transition from Rococo to Neoclassicism and in the artistic rediscovery of classical antiquity. Much celebrated in his time, Bouchardon created some of the most iconic images of the age of Louis XV. His oeuvre demonstrates a remarkable variety of themes (from copies after the antique to subjects of history and mythology, portraiture, anatomical studies, ornament, fountains and tombs), media (drawings, sculptures, medals, prints), and techniques (chalk, plaster, wax, terracotta, marble, bronze).
With five essays by experts on Bouchardon’s sculpture and graphic arts, more than 140 catalog entries, and a detailed chronology, this book aims to demonstrate the originality of Bouchardon’s art within the cultural and social context of the period, while suggesting the subtle relationship between, as well as the relative autonomy of, the artist’s two careers as a sculptor and a draftsman.