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Boy with a Carrot

A work made of pastel on buff laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of pastel on buff laid paper.




François Boucher
French, 1703-1770

About this artwork

François Boucher, whose art epitomized the light-hearted sensuality of the Rococo style, was the most famous painter and decorator during the reign of Louis XV (r. 1715–74), and was championed by Madame de Pompadour, the king’s powerful mistress. Boucher seldom ventured from major paintings and decorative ensembles to do finished, independent works on paper. Nor did he pursue portraiture, apart from his depictions of royal patrons and members of his family. This engaging and fresh portrait of a boy, perhaps a studio apprentice, may well be one of Boucher’s first, and finest, forays into pastel drawing. With this adaptable and newly fashioned medium, Rococo artists were able to imbue their images with a spirited directness and sense of life. Here Boucher captured the dimple-cheeked lad just as he seems to turn, lips parted as if to speak. The youth’s attentive gaze, tousled hair, and delicately elegant city clothes herald the artist’s suave later manner as court painter. The same young model, again holding a carrot, appears in at least two paintings of pastoral subjects by Boucher.


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Prints and Drawings


François Boucher


Boy with a Carrot


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1738


Pastel on buff laid paper


Signed recto, upper right: "F. Boucher, 1738"


30.8 × 24.3 cm (12 3/16 × 9 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Helen Regenstein Collection

Reference Number


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