Jean-Honore Fragonard


Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806) was born in Provence and studied art in Paris before making an extended visit to Italy, where he painted religious studies, landscapes, and archaeological scenes in the classical manner. He returned to France in 1761, was admitted to the Academy, and then, in 1765, began in a completely new direction, painting interiors and portraits with a refreshing sense of light and enjoyment. Famous subjects included Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry. Forced to flee during the Revolution of 1790, Fragonard later returned to Paris and to a position in the Louvre Museum. His enthusiasm for the court of Louis XVI, however, had made him unpopular with post-revolutionary society, and in 1806 he was dismissed, and forced to leave his apartment, dying in penury later in the year.