Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, Grasse 1732–1806 Paris)
13 3/8 x 9 3/16 in. (34 x 23.3 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Howard J. Sachs and Mr. Peter G. Sachs, in memory of Miss Edith L. Sachs, 1978
Not on view
This confident drawing of a seated man absorbed in his book is closely related to a group of portraitlike drawings made by Fragonard on his second trip to Italy (1773–74) sponsored by the fermier général Pierre-Jacques-Onésyme Bergeret de Grancourt. Drawn in a rapid, confident outline and shaded to convey tone and shadow, this drawing presents its subject with an admirable economy of means. Oddly cropped at the ankle, the sitter may have been observed by the artist across a table and partially obscured. The unconventional composition attests to the informality of the sheet.
Inscription: at lower right, in faint graphite, “Fragonard”; at lower right, the blind stamp of Francis Abbott (Lugt 970)
Francis Abbott (British, 1800–1893), his dry mark (Lugt 970) at lower right; his estate sale (Lugt 52191), Dowell's, Edinburgh, Janaury 22-26, 1894 (part of lot 337, with another red chalk drawing of "A Man in the attitude of Meditation"); sale, collection of M.X...; Camille Groult (French, Paris 1837–1908 Paris), per Frick Art Reference Library; sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, June 21-22, 1920 (lot 153); Wildenstein & Co., Inc. (New York); Miss Edith L. Sachs; Donor: Mrs. Howard J. Sachs and Peter G. Sachs
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "French Drawings Recently Acquired, 1975-1984," November 27, 1984–February 10, 1985.
Réunion des Musées Nationaux - Grand Palais. "Fragonard," September 24, 1987–January 4, 1988.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fragonard," February 2, 1988–May 8, 1988.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant," October 6, 2016–January 8, 2017.
Ananoff I, 226 Bean and Turcic 1986.112
Alexandre Ananoff L'oeuvre dessiné de Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) Catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1961-1970, cat. no. 226, fig. no. 86, pp. 112-113, ill.
Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th-18th Century French Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1986, cat. no. 112, pp. 108-109, ill.
Pierre Rosenberg, Katharine Baetjer Fragonard. Ex. cat.: Grand Palais, Paris, 24 Sept. 1987-4 Jan. 1988 and Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2 Feb.-8 May, 1988. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris and New York, 1987, cat. no. 207, p. 437, ill.
Perrin Stein, Marie-Anne Dupuy-Vachey, Eunice Williams, Kelsey Brosnan Fragonard--Drawing Triumphant. New York, 2016, cat. no. 59, 186-87, ill.