Louis-Leopold Boilly: Louis-Leopold Boilly’s father was a wood-carver and he thus came from a modest family. He studied painting as a teenager before moving to Paris in 1785. His slightly erotic genre scenes were popular among many Parisian patrons. After one of his paintings was condemned as obscenity in 1794 and threatened him with imprisonment, Boilly’s began painting social scenes. He created images of the Parisian Salon lifestyle with great detail of expression, gesture, costuming, and textiles.
The son of a wood-carver, Louis-Léopold Boilly came from a humble background. As a teenager, he studied painting in the provinces, moving to Paris in 1785 only after ascertaining the marketability of his genre scenes. He established himself as a painter of slightly naughty images, which were especially popular with patrons who enjoyed the mischievous side of life. In 1794, an erotic painting elicited accusations of obscenity-an offense that carried the threat of prison and harsh penalties. A keen observer of human behavior, Boilly turned his attention to more public scenes, depicting the social customs of Parisians at the Salon, on the promenade, at the billiard table. He meticulously recorded facial details and gestures, and his depictions of costumes and textiles are fascinating as a chronicle of fashion. Boilly's paintings and drawings, often tinged with humor, showcase the artist's witty interpretation of urban life.