François Boucher

The Love Letter

François Boucher - The Love Letter

François Boucher
The Love Letter
81.2 x 75.2 cm
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated upper right on lintel beneath lion: f. Boucher / 1750
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Timken Collection


Collection catalogues
John Walker, National Gallery of Art, Washington, New York, 1995, nr. 444
Philip Conisbee, French paintings of the fifteenth through the eighteenth century, Washington; Princeton, N.J., 2009, nr. 2

Yuriko Jackall et al., America collects eighteenth-century French painting, Washington; London, 2017, p. 12, fig. 5


Painted for Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, marquise de Pompadour (1721-1764), and installed in the chambre doré on the first (i.e., second) floor of the Château de Bellevue, outside Paris
removed c. 1757
recorded 1764 in the vestibule of the ground floor of the Hôtel d'Evreux, Pompadour's Parisian residence
by inheritance to her brother, Abel François Poisson, marquis de Ménars et de Marigny (1727-1781), Château de Ménars, Paris
his estate sale, at his residence by Basan and Joullain, Paris, 18 March-6 April 1782 (postponed from late February), nr. 17
sale, Hôtel des Commissaires-Priseurs, Paris, 14-15 March 1842, nr. 15
anonymous sale ("Provenant du Cabinet de M. X***), Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 26 April 1861, nr. 2
Emile (1800-1875) and Isaac (1806-1880) Pereire, Paris
Péreire sale, at their residence by Pillet and Petit, Paris, 6-9 March 1872, nr. 57
purchased by Sommier, possibly for Frédéric-Alexis-Louis Pillet-Will, comte Pillet (1837-1911), Paris
with Wildenstein & Co., Inc., Paris, New York, and London
sold to William R. Timken (1866-1949), New York, by 1932
by inheritance to his widow, Lillian Guyer Timken (1881-1959), New York
bequest 1960 to NGA

External links

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Accession number 1960.6.3

Other works by François Boucher

François Boucher Aurora and Cephalus
Aurora and Cephalus

François Boucher Madame de Pompadour
Madame de Pompadour

François Boucher Daphnis and Chloe
Daphnis and Chloe

François Boucher Mars and Venus surprised by Vulcan
Mars and Venus surprised by Vulcan

François Boucher The Rising of the Sun
The Rising of the Sun