National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of A Game of Horse and Rider Jean-Honoré Fragonard (artist)
French, 1732 - 1806
A Game of Horse and Rider, c. 1775/1780
oil on canvas
overall: 115 x 87.5 cm (45 1/4 x 34 7/16 in.) framed: 145.1 x 116.8 x 12.1 cm (57 1/8 x 46 x 4 3/4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
On View
From the Tour: 18th-Century France — Boucher and Fragonard
Object 3 of 8

Boys are shown romping at the edge of a forest park in a game of horse and rider, their disheveled exuberance in contrast to the rather prim couple nearby. These boys benefit from a new attitude toward childhood, influenced by Rousseau, who argued that children should be left to follow their natural instincts. In A Game of Hot Cockles, also in the National Gallery of Art, young men and women amuse themselves in a garden. The youth who is "it" kneels and extends a hand behind him for other players to slap while he guesses their identities. The game is a form of flirtation. The players touch and tease each other, and the youth who is "it" hides his face in the lap of a young lady. And while the rough boys are framed by nature—beeches and a craggy tree—this courting scene is framed by art. Eighteenth-century viewers would have recognized the garden sculpture on the right as Falconet's Cupid the Admonisher.

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