Girl Reclining (1751). François Boucher (French, 1703-1770). Oil on canvas. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, Germany. Its subject, lying naked on a daybed after putting down her open book, is Marie-Louise O’Murphy – a Parisian “child-courtesan,” age 14, soon to become the mistress of Louis XV. This piece exemplifies many ideals of Rococo including, the values of aristocracy and the Ancien Regime, objects of wealth and leisure, decorated imagery, and most overbearingly, sexual validation.
Irish Girl. William Dargie (Australian, 1912-2003). Oil on canvas. Art Gallery New South Wales. Archie Colquhoun was a disciple of Max Meldrum, and Dargie recalls that Colquhoun, ‘gave me a piece of board and said “all you do, in the first instance, is put that alongside your subject. Just forget what you think you know about the subject and take these patches of colour and make them the same on the canvas as you see them alongside it.”’