Francois Boucher (29 September 1703 - 30 May 1770) was a French painter, a proponent of Rococo taste, known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories representing the arts or pastoral occupations, intended as a sort of two-dimensional furniture. He was perhaps the most celebrated decorative artist of the 18th century. He also painted several portraits of his illustrious patroness, Madame de Pompadour.
He was born in Paris, the son of a lace designer Nicolas Boucher, who gave him his first artistic training. A painting Boucher exhibited at the age of 17 was admired by the painter François Lemoyne, whose apprentice Boucher became, but after only three months he went to work for the engraver Jean-François Cars. In 1723, Boucher won the elite Grand Prix de Rome, although he did not take up the consequential opportunity to study in Italy until five years later, due to financial problems at the Academie Royale. On his return from studying in Italy in 1731, he was admitted to the Académie de peinture et de sculpture as a historical painter, and became a faculty member in 1734.
His career accelerated from this point, as he advanced from professor to Rector of the Academy, becoming head of the Royal Gobelins Manufactory in 1755 and finally Premier Peintre du Roi (First Painter of the King) in 1765.
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