Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, Grasse 1732–1806 Paris)
Sheet: 5 3/4 x 8 3/16 in. (14.6 x 20.8 cm)
Plate: 4 13/16 x 6 9/16 in. (12.3 x 16.7 cm)
Image: 4 1/8 × 5 9/16 in. (10.4 × 14.2 cm)
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 2011
Not on view
The Little Park is one of Fragonard’s most famous and enigmatic subjects. He treated it six times—in two red chalk drawings, a counterproof re-worked in brown wash, an oil painting, a gouache, and the present work--an etching. Although it does not seem to depict an actual site, the composition and motifs relate closely to drawings he had made in the gardens of the Villa d’Este at Tivoli, outside Rome.
Done on an intimate scale and in a delicate technique of silvery black lines, the print alternates planes of sunlight and shadow to create the effect of spatial recession in the formal, and somewhat overgrown, garden.
Signature: Signed in the plate on pedestal of the statue at center: "fragonard"
Vendor: R. S. Johnson Fine Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Artists and Amateurs: Etching in Eighteenth-Century France," October 1, 2013–January 5, 2014.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant," October 6, 2016–January 8, 2017.
Perrin Stein Artists and Amateurs: Etching in 18th-Century France. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2013, cat. no. 11, 33, 34, 187, ill.
Perrin Stein, Marie-Anne Dupuy-Vachey, Eunice Williams, Kelsey Brosnan Fragonard--Drawing Triumphant. New York, 2016, cat. no. 32, 128-35, ill.
Artist: Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, Grasse 1732–1806 Paris)Date: ca. 1757–59Medium: Black chalk, gray wash, touches of black and brown wash, framing lines in pen and black inkAccession: 52.14On view in:Not on view