François Boucher was a French painter known as a master of the Rococo style. His delicate paintings of pastoral and boudoir scenes meld naturalism with lighthearted fantasy. Referring to his interest in staging compositions in a theatrical manner, he once quipped, “Nature is too green and badly lit.” Born on September 29, 1703 in Paris, France, he apprenticed under artist François Lemoyne and went on to win the Grand Prix de Rome in 1720. The artist cited Peter Paul Rubens and Antoine Watteau as major influences in his development. After establishing himself with important commissions for the royal court at Versailles, he became a member of the Royal Academy and was later appointed director. In 1765, Boucher was awarded the title Premier Peintre du Roi (First Painter of the King) under Louis XV. During his time at court, he produced one of his most famous works, a portrait of the King’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour (1756). The artist died on May 30, 1770 in Paris, France. Boucher’s works are presently held in the collections of the Louvre in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, among others.