Thesis: Francois Boucher the Toilet of Venus

Pages: 3 (1067 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Art  (general)  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Toilet of Venus

Francois Boucher's rich and brilliantly detailed Toilet of Venus capture the goddess in the midst of her morning preparations. Three small cherubs, typical in their depiction as toddlers with wing, are engaged in making Venus look pretty -- one does her hair, another is on his belly retrieving what appears to be a string of pearls, presumably to adorn her with. The third cherub's task is less obvious and explicit. He is grasping a length of blue ribbon, which is also draped around the neck of a dove and clasped by Venus herself as she stares dreamily off to her right and down. Another dove is at her feet, and both birds appear to be full of movement. The entire scene takes place on a richly appointed bed with the heavy curtains behind it partially open to reveal an open patio and a blue though cloudy morning sky, and the bed on which Venus and her attendants sit is richly carved and gold in color, and golden urns lie carelessly about the floor where they mingle with flowers and Venus' jewelry. The more opulent details of this painting definitely reflect the time and place from which the painting springs; it was painted in France just decades before the French Revolution ended the extreme excesses of the monarchy when it came to luxury.

The combination of subject elements makes this painting difficult to classify; the goddess and cherubs are typical of Renaissance paintings, but the partial landscape visible behind the main scene, and the complexities of color, shadow, and texture -- in the wrinkled curtain and bedclothes, the various treasures scattered about, the birds wings, etc. -- all belong more to the eighteenth century to which the painting actually belongs. The goddess herself is obviously the center of attention, however, and her presence and far-off expression characterize the piece as a sort of snapshot or un-posed portrait typical of Renaissance paintings depicting gods, goddesses, and heroes. The brief stripe of landscape running vertically through the center of the painting remains calm and pleasant looking despite the large and darkening cloud that feature so prominently in it, hinting at the beginnings of naturalism. The richness of color and general brightness overrides the darkness of the cloud and even the possible pensiveness in Venus' brow, tough, ultimately characterizing the painting as a happy and not incredibly profound portrayal of the subject.

The painter mainly employs linear perspective, though due to the proximity of the viewer to the piece it is hard to tell. Boucher seems to almost purposefully have avoided any use of parallel lines, which makes linear perspective difficult -- if not impossible -- to perceive. Atmospheric perspective tends to bend the scene together, however, ending equal focus to each constitutive element in the painting, and this does not appear to be the case here. There is the suggestion of atmosphere brought in by the bit of landscape, and in the way that the figures -- and Venus especially -- seem almost to be a part of the bed and curtains by which they are surrounded. But the natural and real curve of the curtains in towards each other at… [END OF PREVIEW]

Venus and Cupid Term Paper


Planet Venus Thesis


Compare and Contrast Atmospheres on Mars and Venus to the Earths Term Paper


Birth of Venus Sandro Botticelli Term Paper


Venus and Adonis by Titian Term Paper


View 1,000+ other related papers  >>

Cite This Thesis:

APA Format

Francois Boucher the Toilet of Venus.  (2008, December 2).  Retrieved November 13, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/francois-boucher-toilet-venus/4686791

MLA Format

"Francois Boucher the Toilet of Venus."  2 December 2008.  Web.  13 November 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/francois-boucher-toilet-venus/4686791>.

Chicago Format

"Francois Boucher the Toilet of Venus."  Essaytown.com.  December 2, 2008.  Accessed November 13, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/francois-boucher-toilet-venus/4686791.