"Boilly" by Whitlum-Cooper

Boilly Scenes of Parisian Life Whitlum-Cooper

Publication date:
14 Mar 2019
National Gallery London
96 pages: 260 x 248mm
40 color illus.

In a long career that spanned the French Revolution, the rise and fall of Napoleon, and the Bourbon Restoration, Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761–1845) managed to create richly innovative and daring works in the midst of extremely turbulent times. Bringing together two dozen of Boilly’s works—the majority of which have never before been published—this handsome volume includes portraiture, scenes of seduction, and vivid representations of raucous Parisian street life. A master technician with acute powers of observation and a wry sense of humor, Boilly invented the term trompe l’oeil and popularized the genre through his stunningly realistic compositions. In this overdue reassessment of Boilly, Francesca Whitlum-Cooper vividly brings the artist and the period he lived in to life, shedding new light on Boilly’s groundbreaking work and expanding our understanding of how art functioned within France’s rapidly changing political environment.

Francesca Whitlum-Cooper is Myojin-Nadar Associate Curator of Paintings, 1600–1800, at the National Gallery, London.