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Open today: 10:00 to 5:00

Fragonard: The Fantasy Figures
October 8 – December 3, 2017
West Building, Main Floor

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Young Girl Reading, c. 1770, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mrs. Mellon Bruce in memory of her father, Andrew W. Mellon

The 2012 discovery of a drawing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) depicting his so-called fantasy figures is the inspiration behind a revelatory exhibition of the corresponding paintings. Fragonard’s drawing presents thumbnail-sized sketches relating to 14 of his known paintings—rapidly executed, brightly colored portraits of lavishly costumed individuals, including the Gallery’s own Young Girl Reading (c. 1770). On loan from international public and private collections, Fragonard’s fantasy figures will be assembled alongside his original sketch for the first time. The exhibition, as well as its fully illustrated accompanying catalog, presents scientific research into the mysterious series and examines the 18th-century Parisian world of new money, unexpected social alliances, and extravagant fashions from which these unique paintings emerged.

The exhibition is curated by Yuriko Jackall, assistant curator, department of French paintings, National Gallery of Art.

Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Passes: Admission is always free and passes are not required

About the Artist

Audio and Video

New Discoveries about "Young Girl Reading" by Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Audio, Released: July 28, 2015, (38:26 minutes)