François Boucher, ‘A reclining female nude’, Christie's Old Masters

A counterproof of lot 14 in the present sale.

A contre-épreuve, or counterproof, is made when a moistened sheet of paper is laid over a soft chalk drawing and sufficient pressure is applied to make the surface layer of chalk imprint itself onto the clean sheet; naturally the original drawing is replicated, in reverse. A counterproof was sometimes made as a permanent record of drawings to be kept in the workshop, studied by its members and perhaps reemployed in a future project; another reason for making one was because the artist required a reverse image of the original study. Counterproofs also had the effect of stabilizing the chalk of the original drawing although also making it slightly paler. There was also a financial aspect as in the 18th Century counterproofs were almost as prized as the original drawings.

We thank Alastair Laing for his kind help in cataloguing this lot.

New York, Charles E. Slatkin Galleries, Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours, 1966, no. 21, pl. 51.
Minneapolis, Institute of Arts, and elsewhere, Loan exhibition from the drawing collection of David Daniels, 1968, no. 19.
New York, Stair Sainty Matthiesen, François Boucher: His Circle and Influence, 1987, no. 19.

A. Ananoff and D. Wildenstein, François Boucher, Fribourg, 1976, I, p. 367, no. 251/3.

A. Wintermute, in Watteau and his world, exhib. cat., New York, The Frick Collection, 1999, p. 192, under no. 151.

A. Laing, in The Drawings of François Boucher, exhib. cat. New York, The Frick Collection, and Fort Worth, Kimbell Museum, 2003, p. 235, under no. 27, note 7.

The Hon. Irwin Laughlin.

Mrs Hubert Chanler; Sotheby's, London, 10 June 1959, lot 7 (to W.H. Schab).

with Charles E. Slatkin Galleries, New York, where acquired in 1959 by

David Daniels, New York; Sotheby's, London, 25 April 1978, lot 77.

About François Boucher

In 1765, François Boucher was awarded the two highest honors among the French arts establishment—appointed as first painter to the king and head of The Royal Academy. Boucher was one of the most celebrated decorative artists of the 18th century, known for formulating and championing the style of Rococo through revival of the idealized, pastoral landscape. Born in France, Boucher moved to Italy in 1728 where was immersed in the Italian countryside and the study of Baroque, 17th-century Dutch landscape painters, and 18th-century Venetian works. Upon return to Paris, he began producing large-scale mythological paintings, combining his early reference points in a playful, lighthearted way. Boucher pictured a landscape filled with shepherdesses and classical divinities, combining the traditional innocence of rural pastoral views with his decorative allegories, erotic scenes, and voluptuous forms.

French, 1703 - 1770 , Paris, France, based in Paris, France

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