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The Flute Lesson

After
François Boucher, French, 1703–1770
Maker
Sèvres Porcelain Factory, France, founded 1756
Date
1757–66
Material
Porcelain
Made in
Sèvres, France, Europe
Classification
Ceramics
Current Location
Not on view
Dimensions
8 3/4 x 9 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (22.2 x 24.1 x 14 cm)
Credit Line
Marjorie Wyman Endowment Fund, the Mary Elizabeth Rosborough Decorative Arts Fund, and The Lopata Endowment Fund
Rights
Contact Us
Object Number
2:2012.1
NOTES
This pair of porcelains, based on a 1752 comic operetta, represents the romance between a shepherd (unnamed) and a shepherdess (Lisette). In one, the shepherd teaches Lisette to play his flute—he fingers the notes while she blows into the instrument. Given its phallic shape, the flute sometimes carried a sexual connotation. In the related piece, the shepherd feeds grapes to his beloved. Shepherds and shepherdesses in amorous couplings appear frequently in the painting, sculpture, and decorative arts of the 18th century. Mme Du Pompadour, the favorite mistress of Louis XV, owned examples of this pair.
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