TipsAdvanced Search
The Dovecote

The Dovecote

The Dovecote

The Dovecote

Date: 1758

Artist: François Boucher, French, 1703–1770

Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions:
18 5/8 x 28 in. (47.3 x 71.1 cm)
framed: 27 1/8 x 36 3/4 in. (68.9 x 93.3 cm)
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object Number: 75:1937
Place made:France
Classification: PAINTINGS
Current Location:On View, Gallery 202
Terms
Notes:Although evocative of the natural world, this painting represents a fantasy of the picturesque. Doves fly in and out of the dovecote while a man and child watch from a rickety bridge. The blue-green color and benign decay of the various structures present a romantic notion of the outdoors, reflecting contemporary ideas about nature. François Boucher was the favorite painter of Louis XV's mistress Madame de Pompadour who, with her friends, enjoyed playing at being shepherdesses and milkmaids in charmingly idealized country settings similar to the one portrayed here.

Provenance- 1783
Berthélémy Augustin Blondel d'Azincourt (1719-1794), Paris, France [1]

1783/02/10
In sale of the collection of Berthélémy Augustin Blondel d'Azincourt, Hôtel de Louvois, Paris, France, February 10, 1783, lot no. 44

- 1884
Baron L. d'Ivry [2]

1884/05/07
In sale of the Baron L. d'Ivry collection, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, France, May 7-9, 1884, lot no. 5

Comte Alexandre de La Borde, Paris, France

by 1932 - 1936
H. Winterfield, Nice, France [3]

1936/12/09 -
Robert Frank, London, England, purchased at the sale of the H. Winterfield collection, Sotheby's, London, December 9, 1936, lot no. 87 [4]

- 1937
Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Inc., New York, NY, USA

1937 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Inc. [5]


Notes:
The primary source for this provenance is Ananoff's 1976 catalogue raisonné, cat. no. 513 [Ananoff, Alexandre, and Daniel Wildenstein. "François Boucher." Volume 2. Lausanne: La Bibliothèque des Arts, 1976, pp. 184-185, cat. no. 513]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

[1] Berthélémy Augustin Blondel d'Azincourt was a wealthy collector with an impressive gallery of art and other curiosities by many of the leading artists of the day, including François Boucher. In d'Azincourt, Boucher found a loyal patron evident by the 500 drawings by the artist that d'Azincourt owned at the time of his death in 1794 ["Azincourt, Barthélémy-Augustin Blondel d'(Dazaincourt)." Grove Art Online, accessed April 14, 2004, ]. It is unknown when this painting was acquired by d'Azincourt, or who purchased the painting at the 1783 auction of his collection ["Catalogue des Tableaux, dessins, marbres, bronzes, terre cuites, pierres gravées, meubles precieux...du Cabinet de M. d'Azincourt." Hôtel de Louvois, Paris, February 10, 1783, lot no. 44]. Since d'Azincourt was a patron of Boucher, perhaps he commissioned the painting from the artist.

[2] The painting was in Paris for the 1884 auction of Baron L. d'Ivry's collection at the Galerie Georges Petit. It is unknown if the painting was purchased during the sale ["Catalogues des Objets d'Art et d'ameublement et des tableaux anciens dependant de la succession de M. Le Baron L. D'Ivry." Galerie George Petit, Paris, May 7-9, 1884, lot no. 5].

[3] H. Winterfield's name is listed as the lender to a 1932 benefit exhibition of Boucher held at the residence of M. Jean Charpentier in Paris [Nolhac, Pierre de. "Exposition: François Boucher (1703-1770)." Paris, 1932, cat. no. 87]. According to Ananoff's 1976 catalogue raisonné, Winterfield resided in Nice, France; the catalogue entry also lists the previous owners as d'Azincourt and the Baron d'Ivry. It is unknown how Winterfield acquired the painting, or how his collection was brought to London for the 1936 auction.

[4] See note [3]. In an annotated copy of the auction catalogue, R. Frank is handwritten in the margin next to the entry. R. Frank is Robert Frank, a London dealer ["Catalogue of Highly Important Paintings and Drawings." Sotheby's, London, December 9, 1936, lot no. 87, annotated copy in SLAM document files; letter from the Getty Provenance Index dated November 24, 1987, SLAM document files].

[5] Bill of sale from Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Inc. dated January 5, 1938 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, November 4, 1937.
Exhibition History
Title: America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting
Date: May 21 - August 20, 2017
Venue: NATIONALGALLERYOFART

Title: The Splendor of Ruins in French Landscape Painting, 1630–1800
Date: March 19–October 16, 2005
Venue: Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
Venue: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Title: The Spirit of Modern France
Date: November 1946 – February 1947
Venue: Toledo Museum of Art
Venue: Art Gallery of Toronto

Title: French Painting in the Age of Madame de Pompadour
Date: October 11, 2008 – May 17, 2009
Venue: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tours
Venue: Portland Art Museum

Title: Les Fêtes Galantes
Date: 1956
Venue: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Title: Fifty Masterworks from the City Art Museum of St. Louis
Date: November 6 - December 13, 1958
Venue: Wildenstein & Co.

Title: Exposition: François Boucher (1703-1770)
Date: June 9, 1932 - July 10, 1932
Venue: L'Hotel de M. Jean Charpentier

Publication History
Title: Fifty Masterworks from the City Art Museum of St. Louis
Year Published: 1958

Title: The Spirit of Modern France: Essay on Painting in Society, 1745-1946
Year Published: 1946

Title: François Boucher
Year Published: 1976

Title: Catalogue des Tableaux, dessins, marbres, bronzes, terre cuites, pierres gravées, meubles precieux...Du Cabinet de M. d'Azincourt
Edition: February 10-27
Year Published: 1783

Title: Les Fetes Galantes Provides an Escape
Periodical Title: Richmond Times-Dispatch
Edition: January 22
Year Published: 1956

Title: Exposition: François Boucher (1703-1770)
Year Published: 1932

Title: Handbook of the Collections: The City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Year Published: 1953

Title: Catalogue of Highly Important Paintings and Drawings
Edition: December 9
Year Published: 1936

Title: The St. Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collections
Year Published: 1975

Title: Saint Louis Acquires French, Chinese Art
Periodical Title: The Art Digest
Edition: August 1
Year Published: 1938

Title: François Boucher
Year Published: 1906

Title: La volupte du gout : French painting in the age of Madame de Pompadour
Year Published: 2008

Title: Catalogue des Objets d'Art et d'ameublement et des tableaux anciens dependant de la succession de M. Le Baron L. D'Ivry
Edition: May 7-9
Year Published: 1884

Title: A Landscape by Francois Boucher (1703-1770)
Periodical Title: Bulletin of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Edition: July
Year Published: 1938

Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Handbook of the Collections
Year Published: 1991

Title: The Splendor of Ruins in French Landscape Painting, 1630-1800
Year Published: 2005

Title: Handbook of the Collections: The City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Year Published: 1944

Title: L'opera completa di Boucher
Year Published: 1980

Title: French Paintings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Periodical Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Bulletin
Edition: Summer
Year Published: 1981

Title: François Boucher
Year Published: 1907