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Jean-Honor� Fragonard - French Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Jean-Honor� Fragonard (1732 - 1806)

Jean-Honoré Fragonard studied under Boucher, and then in Rome studying the work of the Old Masters. However, Fragonard was more attracted to producing landscapes of the Italian countryside. On his return to France, his piece The Swing, displayed his ability to paint playful figures and resulted in demand for more of his erotic pieces. Fragonard became the leader of the Rococo style, flirting with the edge of decency in his paintings. In the 1780’s, Neoclassicism replaced the Rococo style, leaving Fragonard to live the remainder of his life in poverty. Fragonard produced more than 550 paintings (not counting drawings and etchings), of which only five are dated. Among his most popular works are genre paintings conveying an atmosphere of intimacy and veiled eroticism. For half a century or more he was so completely ignored that Lübke in his History of Art (1873) omits the very mention of his name. Subsequent reevaluation has confirmed his position among the all-time masters of French painting. The influence of Fragonard's handling of local colour and expressive, confident brushstroke on the Impressionists (particularly his grand niece, Berthe Morisot, and Renoir) cannot be overestimated.

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