These versions of
“[D]es plus agréables,” Leroy de Senneville sale, Desmarest, Paris, April 5, 1780, no. 56; quoted in Pierre Rosenberg, Tout l’oeuvre peint de Fragonard (Paris, 1989), 127 (Georges Wildenstein, The Paintings of Fragonard: Complete Edition [New York, 1960], 271).
The fact that the pictures, or works like them, belonged to such an important collector as Leroy de Senneville — who also owned Fragonard’s
See Pierre Rosenberg, Tout l’oeuvre peint de Fragonard (Paris, 1989), 103.
Minor or not, these compositions and their variants typify the kind of quickly painted, small-scale decorative pictures that Fragonard frequently produced during his career. Small oval canvases depicting Cupids or amorini are abundant throughout his catalogued oeuvre, but most often in the late 1760s and early 1770s, when the painter was enjoying one of his most lucrative periods.
Georges Wildenstein, The Paintings of Fragonard: Complete Edition (New York, 1960), 19.
See Jean-Pierre Cuzin, Fragonard, Life and Work (New York, 1988; French ed. Paris, 1987), nos. 249 – 251; Pierre Rosenberg, Tout l’oeuvre peint de Fragonard (Paris, 1989), nos. 157 – 160.
Georges Wildenstein, The Paintings of Fragonard: Complete Edition (New York, 1960), 271. For the gouaches (Alexandre Ananoff, L’oeuvre dessiné de Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 4 vols. [Paris, 1961 – 1970], 2: nos. 1000, 1001), which belonged to the important collector marchal de Saincy (his sale, Paris, April 29, 1789, and days following, lot 79), see Fragonard, le peintre de la ville des parfums (Grasse, 1995), 32 – 33. Of the extant paintings, Janinet’s prints are closest to the Simpson versions, although they do not reproduce them exactly. A print after Love the Sentinel was also made by Simon Charles Miger in 1779; all three prints are reproduced in Pierre Rosenberg, Tout l’oeuvre peint de Fragonard (Paris, 1989), 102, nos. 284a, 284b, 285a.
“Sur buisson / Le papillon / Voit-il la rose, / Il s’y repose. / Est-il heureux / Amant frivole / Soudain il vole / A d’autres jeux” (Roger Portalis, Honoré Fragonard: sa vie et son oeuvre, 2 vols. [Paris, 1889], 102, 197 – 198). The lines are from “Eclogue,” in Oeuvres choisies de Parny (Paris, 1826), 306 – 310. These works also reminded the Goncourts of the poetry of Parny (Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt, L’art du dix-huitième siècle, 2 vols. [Paris, 1880 – 1884], 2:326).
This text was previously published in Philip Conisbee et al., French Paintings of the Fifteenth through the Eighteenth Century, The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue (Washington, DC, 2009), 172–176.
Collection data may have been updated since the publication of the print volume. Additional light adaptations have been made for the presentation of this text online.
January 1, 2009