Alfred Boucher was born in Bouy-sur-Ovin, France. His father was a gardener who worked for the sculptor Joseph-Marius Ramus and it was Ramus who recognised the young Boucher’s talent and invited him to work in his studio as his assistant. Boucher entered L'École des Beaux Arts de Paris in 1869 and exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1874 onwards, winning a Grand Prix at the Exposition Universelle in 1881 with his model of La Piété Filiale before moving to Florence where he won the admiration of illustrious patrons such as George I of Greece and Maria-Pia of Romania.

 

Boucher was also a committed teacher who encouraged a number of talented sculptors including Camille Claudel; indeed, it was Boucher who persuaded Auguste Rodin to take Claudel on as an assistant, before his second trip to Florence in 1883.

 

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