Interesting Facts About Jean Honore Fragonard
Jean-Honoré Fragonard was born in Grasse, France, into a family of artists and merchants; his father was a glove maker. Fragonard's family moved to Paris in 1738 when he was six years old, but nothing else is known about his upbringing. After an unsuccessful apprenticeship as a notary, he began studying painting as a youngster.
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Jean Honore Fragonard Facts
One of his favorite models was his daughter.
In 1769, Fragonard married Marie-Anne Gérard, an artist who is credited with creating miniatures that were originally attributed to her husband. Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard was their son, and Rosalie was their daughter.
Rosalie is well-known as a model for Fragonard's art, despite not becoming an artist like her brother. She is supposed to be the model for Young Woman Standing and is represented in works such as the classic masterpiece A Young GirlReading (1770).
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He went to Rome to refine this artistic skills and learn more about Renaissance art.
By presenting his painting Jeroboam Sacrificing to the Golden Calf to the French Academy, Fragonard won the renowned Prix de Rome scholarship award (1752). Fragonard then traveled to study at the French Academy in Rome alongside other scholarship students, where he spent a lot of time outside sketching pictures of Roman surroundings.
Fragonard met fellow artist Hubert Robert, who specialized in landscapes, while in Rome. Fragonard travelled Italy with Robert and Jean-Claude Richard de Saint-Non (also known as Abbé de Saint-Non) after his scholarship ended in 1760.
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He was a very active artist who painted all the time.
More than 550 paintings were created by Fragonard (not including several thousand drawings and various etchings). Fragonard served as an administrator for the Louvre even as he began to paint less in later years.
Only five of Fragonard's works are dated, despite his numerous works of art, years as a member of the French Academy, and sponsorship from France's wealth and aristocracy. The following is an example of such a painting: The Bathers, circa 1765, Louvre Museum, Paris. The See-Saw, 1750–55, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, is one of his earliest works.
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He was François Boucher's student.
Fragonard began working with another great Rococo master, François Boucher, when he was eighteen years old and articled for a Paris notary. Boucher, on the other hand, dispatched him to Chardin to get further expertise. Fragonard returned to Boucher six months later and learned his style.
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Impressionists were influenced by him.
The Impressionist movement concentrates on the effect of movement, light, and perspective, and is regarded to be a rejection of past painting traditions. Fragonard's influence can be seen in the works of numerous well-known Impressionists.
The apparent and light brushstrokes in Fragonard's work reflect the Impressionist style, which can be observed in paintings by painters like Monet. In this sense, the importance of Fragonard's work is demonstrated by its influence on subsequent art, although he was forgotten when he died in 1806. Compare Fragonard's work to those of Renoir and Berthe Morisot (his great-granddaughter)!
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The Swing, 1767, at the Wallace Collection, London, is his most renowned artwork.
This oil painting, originally named Les Hasards heureux de l'escarpolette (roughly translated as The Happy Accidents of the Swing), is often considered to be his most famous work. It was commissioned by Baron Louis-Guillaume Baillet de Saint-Julien in 1767 and is known for its sensual placement and erotic connotations.
Fragonard represented the Baron's mistress as a vision in pink when he was asked to do so. The woman in the painting's shoe slips off the end of her left foot as she swings forward, leaving her right foot pointing down into the bushes, close to her boyfriend. Fragonard's deliberate use of color pulls the viewer's eye to the woman first. However, upon closer inspection, the entire tableau becomes clear: mistress in the center, lover on the left (hiding), and husband pulling the swing ropes. This artwork is still considered a Rococo masterpiece today.
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He was one of the Revolutionary War's victims.
Even though Fragonard escaped the bloodshed of the French Revolution, it had a lasting impact on his work and subsequent life. During the Revolution, the majority of his wealthy supporters suffered; many were executed and others were banished.
Fragonard, who had spent much of his career doing secret commissions for his now-disappeared clientele, eventually left Paris and found refuge in Grasse. He lived with his cousin Alexandre Maubert, bringing with him the four-piece series Les progrès de l'amour dans le cur d'une jeune fille (1771-1773), which had been commissioned by Louis XV's mistress, Madame du Barry.
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He was influenced by the paintings of Dutch and Flemish painters.
While in Italy, Fragonard had the opportunity to see works of art by some of history's most famous painters while touring throughout the country. The great Dutch and Flemish painters piqued his interest the most.
His work reflects his appreciation, as he imitated their loose brushstrokes, and he was able to elevate the masters' painting ability to a new level. During his time in Venice, he became fascinated by the works of Venetian maestro Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770), who is often regarded as the 18th century's best decorative artist. During this time, he was most influenced by the works of Peter Paul Rubens, Hals, Rembrandt, and Ruisdael.
Following a significant occurrence, his career took a turn for the worse after the French Revolution
The French Revolution, which began in 1789, was the most pivotal time in the country's history. It signaled the end of the Ancien Régime, and many of his old benefactors were either executed or exiled from Paris' Place de la Concorde. This effectively ended Jean-Honoré Fragonard's career, however he was able to return to his hometown of Grasse and dwell with his cousin Alexandre Maubert.
In exchange, the artist chose to beautify the home of his gracious relative. Not only does this villa still exist, but it has also been turned into a museum, which is one of the most fascinating facts about Jean-Honoré Fragonard. At the Villa-Musée Jean-Honor Fragonard, you can see some of the artists' works that he created during his time here after fleeing Paris.
Why is Jean Honore Fragonard important?
The final embodiment of the rococo style is the work of French painter Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806). His paintings were known for their fluid elegance and sensuous beauty, as well as the brilliance of his technique.
Fragonard's work refines erotic symbolism that would have been readily understood by his contemporaries, resulting in images with several cerebral layers.
He employed settings, actions, and minor details to build tension and stimulate viewers to think about men and women's relationships, humans and environment, and the concept of time. Fragonard's use of symbolism was unrivaled in its depth and subtlety, giving his scenes academic weight that separated them apart from others working in comparable genres.