There is a remarkable similarity between Sebastiano Ricci’s Bathsheba and Boucher’s Toilet of Venus. Boucher is forty-four years younger than Ricci, the two paintings are about twenty-five years apart.

For nearly a century, this is one of the last Bathshebas, at least by a major artist. The two topics: Bathsheba in her Bath and Susanna and the Elders, so popular during the previous two hundred years, died out in the 1720s, only to be revived with a vengeance after the Congress of Vienna.

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