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1921

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Print, Triomphe de Priape [Triumph of Priapus] in Nouveaux Morceaux pour des Paravents [New Concepts for Screens], ca. 1737

This is a Print. It was designed by François Boucher. It is dated ca. 1737 and we acquired it in 1921. Its medium is etching and engraving on white laid paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This etching is a design for a panel for a folding screen titled, “The Triumph of Priapus.” It was etched and engraved as part of a five-plate suite of folding screen designs. The composition is anchored by two flights of stairs leading into an Italian garden populated with cypress trees. Putti fly across the landscape holding an overflowing cornucopia and some play with the goat in the garden. On the balustrade, a pair of putti plays with flowers and berries. This energetic scene is overseen by a term with a satyr head that serves as a stand-in for Priapus, the Greek god of the vegetable garden, goats, bees and virility. In this design, Boucher references the fact that Priapus was worshipped on fields where goats and sheep pastured. This design is a prime example of Boucher’s artistic vocabulary as it combines allegorical iconography and rustic themes. While folding screens based on his designs were probably never realized, Boucher along with artists such as Antoine Watteau, Claude Audran, Jacques de Lajoüe, and Nicolas Lancret designed panels for folding screens, particularly as screens became a ubiquitous part of French interior furnishings from the late seventeenth-century onwards.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Screening the Rococo.

It is credited Purchased for the Museum by the Advisory Council.

Its dimensions are

Platemark: 51 x 25.5 cm (20 1/16 x 10 1/16 in.)

It is inscribed

On plate, lower left: F. Boucher invenit; lower center: TRIOMPHE DE PRIAPE; lower right: C.L. Duflos Sculpsit.; lower center: A Paris chez De Larmessin graveur du Roy rue de Noyers à la deuxieme Porte cochere à gauche entrant par la rue St. Jacques. A.P.D.R.

Cite this object as

Print, Triomphe de Priape [Triumph of Priapus] in Nouveaux Morceaux pour des Paravents [New Concepts for Screens], ca. 1737; Designed by François Boucher (French, 1703–1770); France; etching and engraving on white laid paper; Platemark: 51 x 25.5 cm (20 1/16 x 10 1/16 in.); Purchased for the Museum by the Advisory Council; 1921-6-203-6

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Rococo: The Continuing Curve 1730-2008.

This object has no known Copyright restrictions.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18220609/ |title=Print, Triomphe de Priape [Triumph of Priapus] in Nouveaux Morceaux pour des Paravents [New Concepts for Screens], ca. 1737 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 November 2018 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>