Monday, 12 July 2021

The Empire of the Senses from Boucher to Greuze at Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris

with Chris Boïcos

Jean-Baptitre Greuze, La volupté, 1765

The charming musée Cognacq-Jay in the Marais, in Paris, is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the death of Rococo painter François Boucher with a wonderful exhibition of French erotic art of the 18th century. On view are paintings, but also seldom exhibited drawings and engravings, by the masters of the nude and lovemaking in French art: Watteau, Boucher, Pater, Greuze, Fragonard and a plethora of minor masters. Every aspect of French eroticism is explored in the show, in what is undoubtedly the least prudish of all periods in the history of art. The exhibition ends with a wonderfully entertaining pornographic section featuring, among other objects, frayed, but very graphic, tobacco pouches, especially made for "Monsieur et Madame" by an unknown but imaginative craftsman.

Jean-Baptiste Pater, The embrace (L'Etreinte), c. 1730

Marseille, Musée Grobet-Labadié



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