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Artichive: “The Swing”

Artichive: “The Swing”

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) was a French Rococo artist whose paintings are characterised by delicate hedonism. His family moved to Paris in 1738 and he was apprenticed to a lawyer who, after noticing his aptitude, suggested that he should study fine art. After studying under François Boucher for some years he was selected for a Prix de Rome scholarship and went to Rome to study in the French Academy. After returning to Paris, he exhibited a few landscape paintings and his famous painting “Coresus and Callirhoë” (1765) which was purchased for King Louis XV. The artist’s work was influenced by the later stages of the Rococo era, famously characterised by hedonistic freedom and a pursuit of aesthetically pleasing effects.

“The Swing” also known as “The Happy Accidents of the Swing”  (1767) — oil on canvas, 31 7?8 inches × 25 1?4 inches — is composed in a triangular shape depicting a maiden in the air at the top of the triangle. The overall mood in the painting is cheerful — a typical aspect of Rococo works. It is displayed at Wallace Collection, London. — M.Z.A

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, December 11th, 2016

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