Farm Buildings beside a Waterway

Jean Honoré Fragonard French

Not on view

The clustered buildings depicted in this drawing—​cottages with high, pitched roofs and a fortified tower—represent a vernacular architecture that would have been familiar to Fragonard from his travels and from visits to the rural estates owned by his friends and patrons. He treated the subject twice, once in red chalk (private collection, New York) and here in wash over black chalk. Differences in certain details distinguish the two compositions, but one is not a study for the other. Rather, they speak to the artist’s tendency to experiment with the potential, both formal and expressive, of different media.

Farm Buildings beside a Waterway, Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, Grasse 1732–1806 Paris), Black chalk, pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash

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