Artist: François Boucher (French, Paris 1703–1770 Paris)
Date: ca. 1750
Medium: Black chalk, brush and gray wash, and white chalk
Dimensions: 8 5/16 x 9 1/4 in. (21.1 x 23.5 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Charles K. Lock, 1960
Accession Number: 60.175.1
This sheet is one of several studies related to Apollo Revealing His Divinity to Issé (1750, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tours), a large mythological painting in which swirls of frolicking putti encircle the main figural group. Many such drawings, and quite possibly the present sheet, would have been made not as preliminary studies, but after the painting was completed, to satisy the market demand for drawings by Boucher's hand. Here, he uses black chalk, stumped in places to create a soft gray, and white chalk highlights to deftly model the dimpled flesh of the cupids and their baskets of flowers.