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    Jean Honore Fragonard
    1732-1806

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Fragonard was a pupil of Chardin and Boucher and became famous for his 'Grand'
historical painting.
Later he turned to lighter subjects and family groups. He worked for the French Court of Louis XV1.
After the Revolution his patrons disappeared and he died in obscurity.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) , The Progress of Love

The history of these paintings -- one of the most powerful evocations of love in the history of art -- is linked with the career of the Comtesse du Barry, the last mistress of Louis XV. For a pleasure pavilion she commissioned from the architect Ledoux in 1771, the countess ordered from Fragonard four canvases depicting "the four ages of love." They are the large canvases flanking the fireplace and to the right, on the adjacent south wall. Together they illustrate a love story such as any of us might have known. Beginning on the south wall, they advance from a flirtatious proposal (a young man springs out to offer a girl a rose), to a furtive meeting at the left (the lover scales the wall of a garden), to consummation or marriage on the other side of the fireplace (the girl crowns her lover with roses), to the calm enjoyment of a happy union (the reading of the love letters).
Yet, for all their beauty and passion, Madame du Barry soon returned the canvases to the artist and ordered replacements from another. Were the resemblances between the red-coated lover and Louis XV potentially embarrassing? Did the exuberant canvases seem a little old-fashioned amidst the cool neoclassicism of Ledoux's avant-garde pavilion?
For whatever reason, Fragonard was left holding onto his creations for another twenty years. Then, adding seven more canvases, he installed the lot in a cousin's villa in southern France
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Related Artists include: Amigoni, Francois BOUCHER, Jean Baptiste GREUZE , Lancret, Giovanni Battista TIEPOLO, Antoine WATTEAU/


KEY WORKS
Blindman's Buff
A Young Girls Reading
The Gardens of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli c1760: Wallace Collection London
The Storm c1760: LOUVRE - Paris
Storming the Citadel c1770: Frick Collection New York
The Stolen Kiss c1788: The HERMITAGE St Petersburg
The Meal on the Grass Musee de Picardie Amiens
The Good Mother MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS BOSTON
A Boy as Pierrot Wallace Collection London
The Useless Resistance National Museum Stockholm
Bathers LOUVRE - Paris
Washerwoman St Louis Art Museum
The New Model Musee Jacquemart Andre Paris
The Crowning of the Lover c1772 - The Frick Collection New York
Festival in St Cloud 1775 - Banque de France Paris
The Fountain of Love c1780 - Wallace Collection London
The Swing 1767 - Wallace Collection

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ARS MUNDI
Click on the prints to visit their site

         
     
 

Young Girl Reading
1773-1776
original oil on canvas is in the
NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART WASHINGTON DC

 
         

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