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According to Ovid, the sun god Apollo drove his chariot across the heavens during the day, bringing light to the world, and sinking back beneath the waves in the evening. 'The Rising of the Sun' forms a pair on this theme with P486. Despite the obvious technical mastery displayed in the paintings, they attracted fierce criticism at the 1753 Salon. By the early nineteenth century, Boucher’s reputation had fallen so low that in about 1827 the baron de Commailles was able to acquire the pictures for only 380 francs (about £15). The 4th Marquess of Hertford had to pay somewhat more, namely 20,200 francs (about £808). Just a few years later the Goncourt brothers described 'The Rising' and 'The Setting of the Sun' as ‘the two triumphal pages of Boucher’s art … the greatest efforts of the painter’.

The Wallace Collection



The Rising of the Sun




oil on canvas


H 318 x W 261 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1855; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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