Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, 17321806)
Oil on canvas; 19 x 25 in. (48.3 x 63.5 cm)
Gift of Jessie Woolworth Donahue, 1956 (56.100.1)
This picture is one of the few highly finished works painted by Fragonard during his first Italian sojourn from 1756 to 1761. It belonged to the bailiff of Bréteuil, who was ambassador to Rome from Malta in 1760. An oil sketch for the picture is in the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg. While the figure on the left and the background on the right remind us that Fragonard was trained under Boucher, the color harmonies and rich atmosphere anticipate his style of the mid-1760s.