The Annunciation

FRANÇOIS BOUCHER, The Annunciation

French, 1703-70
The Annunciation, about 1749
Black chalk drawing on cream laid paper
Eliza S. Paine Fund

Copyright Notice

A celebrated artist in his day, Boucher was favored by Madame de Pompadour and was named First Painter to King Louis XV. He gained further renown as a superb, versatile draftsman, and his drawings in many different media were highly regarded by collectors during his lifetime. In both painting and drawing Boucher treated a great diversity of subjects, including mythology, nudes, landscapes, genre scenes, and portraits. To his contemporaries Boucher's theatrical realm of sensuous make-believe seemed appropriate for such worldly themes yet less suitable for religious topics. Within the scope of sacred subjects, his drawings- made chiefly for himself- far outnumbered his paintings.

Worcester's drawing shows the angel Gabriel hovering near Mary, to announce to her that she will bear the Son of God. Above, reclining on a cloud like a pagan divinity, God the Father releases the Dove of the Holy Spirit. The rounded top of the drawing suggests that it may have been a design for an altarpiece, perhaps a preliminary sketch, as indicated by the loose handling of the black chalk.




55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609
(+1) 508-799-4406


Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm
Third Thursdays until 8pm
For closing days and Shop, Café, and Library hours, see our Hours and Admission page.

WAM member sticker


When you become a Member of the Worcester Art Museum, you join a group of interesting and inquisitive people enjoying a number of great benefits.

Browse Membership levels, benefits and discounts