Ursula Hoff Annual Lecture

Ursula Hoff Annual Lecture: François Boucher, history painter

Mark Ledbury, Power Professor, The University of Sydney

François Boucher, The enjoyable lesson (L'Agréable Leçon), 1748, oil on canvas, 92.5 x 78.6 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Felton Bequest, 1982.

For many, in the eighteenth century and after, Francois Boucher came to symbolize a malaise in French painting, an epoch where noble male ideals of history painting were abandoned in favour of the frivolous, the feminine, the decorative. But this is a skewed picture. This lecture seeks to reexamine Boucher’s career as a history painter, by exploring some overlooked or little known works by the painter, including the splendid pair in the NGV and by reconsidering what Boucher and his age understood history painting to be. It will also think about History painting as it was understood by Boucher’s predecessors and contemporaries to challenge some long held notions about what History painting is.

Date: Wednesday 9th November 2011, 6:30pm

Venue: Clemenger BBDo auditorium, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road

Bookings: Free attendance, bookings are preferred but not essential. Ph NGV bookings on 8662 1555 or email ngvenquiries@ngv.vic.gov.au