"My style may be described as a kind of loving criticism" RB 1959

Elsa Maxwell, 1959, Oil on canvas, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Excerpt from “The Sparrow,” Time, November 9, 1959

A knowing sparrow of a man, Bouché often asks the glamorous and important to pose for his thin-stained canvases, gives them a drawing for their pains. Bouché’s technical equipment, like that of John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, is not prodigious, but exactly suits his ends. He may well rank with those past masters of social portraiture. Bouché is not one to portray the bellhop or the country maid, but flies straight to the inmost circle of society, where the crustiest tycoons really do unbend, all wives are beautiful, and well-tailored bohemians are welcome. In a sense, he adores the lions and tigresses of a world often so polite that it is rude, and so frantic that it is bored.

Link to full Time article

bouche_grimes_by_dmitri_kessel
In 1961, Bouché was photographed by Dmitri Kessel and featured in Life while the Broadway star Tammy Grimes sat for a portrait in the studio.  The paintings behind Bouché in this image are portraits of Dorothea Tanning and Marcel Duchamp. The extensive article documents the artist’s process with wonderful images of Bouché interacting with his sitter, multiple studies, and various phases of the painted portrait.

Link to full Life article





Several portraits painted by René Bouché, now at the National Portrait Gallery, were originally commissioned for and published as covers of Time. Prominent individuals who sat for the artist and were featured on covers of Time, linked below, include:

Jean Kerr, John F. Kennedy, Edward Kennedy, and Sophia Loren