Sunday, September 13, 2015

Shepherd and Shepherdess by François Boucher

A favourite pastoral theme of Francoise Boucher was that of the Shepherd and Shepherdess and he produced a number of paintings on this theme.  All suggest that Boucher thought the job of a shepherd was to loll around the countryside in the company of lady in a state of semi undress and one or two docile looking sheep.  Of all his versions on the theme this one, likely done for one of his private clients rather than for exhibition, displays what he thought these indolent animal guardians actually got up to most of the time.  The shepherd kisses the shepherdess' breast while his left hand toys with the hem of her underskirt, which barely conceals her almost totally displayed groin.  Full on copulation cannot be more than a few seconds away as the sheep appear to keep watch.

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