Fragonard, Jean-Honoré

Fragonard, Jean-Honoré

(zhäN-ōnôrā` frägônär`), 1732–1806, French painter. He studied with ChardinChardin, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon
, 1699–1779, French painter. He was a major figure of 18th-century painting. While the Académie royale still advocated history painting as the noblest form of art, Chardin painted still lifes and domestic interiors.
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, Carle VanlooVanloo
, family of French painters of Dutch origin. Jacob or Jacques Vanloo, 1614–70, b. Holland, went to Paris in 1662, where he had great success as a portrait painter. His portrait of Michel Corneille is in the Louvre.
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, and intensively with BoucherBoucher, François
, 1703–70, French painter. Boucher's art embodied the spirit of his time; it was elegant, frivolous, and artificial. He studied briefly with François Le Moyne but was also influenced by Watteau, many of whose works he engraved.
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, whose style he assimilated. He won the Prix de Rome and studied in Italy from 1756 to 1761; there he was particularly attentive to the works of Tiepolo. In 1765 he was admitted to the Académie royale for the historical Coresus and Callirrhoë (Louvre), but thereafter he devoted himself to painting polished and delicately erotic scenes of love and gallantry for the court. Characteristic examples are Love's Vow, The Swing (Wallace Coll., London), and the Music Lesson (Louvre). He married and his works became less sensual and more sentimental. Ruined by the Revolution, he retired to Grasse, where he decorated the house of a friend with the panels Roman de l'amour et de la jeunesse (Frick Coll., New York City), earlier rejected by Mme Du Barry, and several other paintings. Fragonard is esteemed for the freedom of his brush technique, the strength and vitality of his portraiture and landscapes, and for his virtuosity in depicting the character of gaiety and charm in the age of Louis XV. Well represented in the Louvre, the Wallace Collection in London, and the Frick Collection and the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, his work can also be seen in the museums of Washington, D.C., Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, and St. Louis.

Bibliography

See the exhibition catalog from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (1988); studies by D. Wakefield (1976), J.-P. Cuzin (1988), and M. D. Sheriff (1989).

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