About this artwork

An amorous young birdcatcher makes an offering of a small bird to a barefoot young shepherd girl in an attempt to win her heart. Leaning over the birdcatcher’s shoulder is a young child who attempts to feed the remaining birds some grain, echoing the theme of offering and enticement. These parallel themes of nourishment of both the heart and the body respectively were intended to reinforce the romantic notion that love is as necessary as food. Boucher specialised in this type of decorative pastoral scene, although towards the end of his life such pictures were criticised for their seemingly ‘frivolous’ themes. This painting and its two companions which are also in the National Gallery of Scotland collection, were originally owned by the Marchal de Saincy family.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    A Pastoral Scene ('L'Offrande à la Villageoise')
  • date created:
    Dated 1761
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    Painted area: 232.10 x 93.40 cm (framed: 262.00 x 121.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1986
  • accession number:
    NG 2440
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • glossary:
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François Boucher

François Boucher