Aurora and Cephalus
Aurora and Cephalus is a 1733 painting by François Boucher, signed by the artist and now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy. It shows Cephalus and Aurora (the Roman form of Eos) from Book VII of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Boucher produced it after his return from Italy and it was commissioned by François Derbais, advocate to the Parliament of Paris, for his hôtel particulier on rue de la Poissonnière in Paris, as a pendant to Venus Asking Vulcan for Weapons for Aeneas (1732, Louvre). Derbais' descendants sold both works, which came back on the market together in the posthumous sale of Watelet's collection on 12 June 1786. They were bought by Paillet for the French royal collection in the Louvre for 3121 livres.
In 1801, while the Louvre was known as the Central Museum of Arts, Aurora and Cephalus was one of thirty works it selected to decorate the Château de Lunéville for the signing of the Treaty of Lunéville between France and Austria. At the request of the Meurthe département the Boucher and twelve other paintings were permanently placed in the museum at Nancy even before the passing of the décret Chaptal on 1 September 1801, seen as the foundation date for France's regional museums.
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