The Interrupted Sleep

Artist: François Boucher (French, Paris 1703–1770 Paris)

Date: 1750

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: Overall 32 1/4 x 29 5/8 in. (81.9 x 75.2 cm); painted surface (irregular oval) 31 x 27 3/4 in. (78.7 x 70.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Jules Bache Collection, 1949

Accession Number: 49.7.46


Boucher was an artist of incomparable virtuosity and industry with a preference for mythological and pastoral subjects. Here he shows a beautifully dressed shepherd and shepherdess. The simplicity of the subject belies the complexity of the composition, which is organized around a series of intersecting diagonals. This canvas, much admired at the Salon of 1753, was one of a pair of overdoors from Bellevue a château belonging to Madame de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV.