François Boucher: Boreas Abducting Oreithyia, 1769

François Boucher: Borée enlevant Orithye (1769)

This painting belongs to a series of six that Boucher painted for Jean-François Bergeret de Frouville’s hôtel in Paris. Four of them, including this one, are at the Kimbell Art Museum and the other two at the Getty Museum.

Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée: The Union of Painting and Sculpture (1768)

Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée: The Union of Painting and Sculpture, 1768.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: To Luna

SISTER of the earliest light,
Type of loveliness in sorrow,
Silver mists thy radiance borrow,
Even as they cross thy sight.
When thou comest to the sky,
In their dusky hollows waken,
Spirits that are sad, forsaken,
Birds that shun the day, and I.

Looking downward far and wide,
Hidden things thou dost discover.
Luna! help a hapless lover,
Lift him kindly to thy side!
Aided by thy friendly beams,
Let him through the lattice peeping,
Look into the room where, sleeping,
Lies the maiden of his dreams.

Ah, I see her! Now I gaze,
Bending in a trance Elysian,
And I strain my inmost vision,
And I gather all thy rays.
Bright and brighter yet I see
Charms no envious robes encumber;
And she draws me to her slumber
As Endymion once drew thee.


Written around 1768, translation by John Storer Cobb.

Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée: Psyche Surprises the Sleeping Cupid

Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée: Psyche Surprises the Sleeping Cupid.

Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée: Venus and Mars surprised by Vulcan (1768)

Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée: Venus and Mars surprised by Vulcan (1768).

Portrait of David Hume by Allan Ramsay, 1766

The Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist David Hume was fifty-five years old when Allan Ramsay painted his portrait in 1766. Another page in the book, “when men were still allowed to wear colors.”

Jean-Honoré Fragonard: The Swing

Fragonard is nearly thirty years younger than Boucher, he belongs to a different generation. They have many similarities, but many differences as well. One is that Boucher’s compositions tend to be static, while Fragonard’s are often quite dynamic, full of energy and movement. His probably best known picture, The Swing, is a good example for this.

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