Jean-Honoré Fragonard (painter)|
French, 1732 - 1806
Diana and Endymion, c. 1753/1756
oil on canvas
overall: 94.9 x 136.8 cm (37 3/8 x 53 7/8 in.) framed: 125.1 x 168.3 cm (49 1/4 x 66 1/4 in.)
Object 7 of 9
In this scene Diana, virgin goddess of the hunt, steals forth through the moonlight to kiss the sleeping shepherd Endymion, whom the gods granted eternal sleep to preserve his beauty and youth. Diana and Endymion was painted when Fragonard was still a student at the Academy and heavily influenced by Boucher, who was his teacher. It was one of several mythological vignettes set at different times of the day; another depicts Aurora (Dawn) rising. Both compositions, painted as over-door decorations, were based on designs Boucher had done for the Beauvais tapestry works. Despite similarities to the older artist's work, Diana and Endymion already displays important elements of what would become Fragonard's own style: rich colors and a fluid handling of paint.
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