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.
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Medium:Black chalk, pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash
Dimensions:13 3/4 x 18 13/16 in. (35 x 47.8 cm)
Credit Line:Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971
Marking: At lower left, collector's mark of Roger Portalis (Lugt 2232)
Louis-Antoine-Auguste de Rohan-Chabot, duc de Chabot (French), his sale, December 10-15, 1787, expert Lebrun, no. 211; Anonymous sale, Paris, May 31, 1790 (lot 181); Baron Roger Portalis (French), (his stamp, Lugt 2232, at lower left), Paris; his collection sale (lugt 46356), Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 14, 1887, (lot 88), unsold; anonymous sale (Portalis), February 2-3, 1911 (lot 98), ill. p. 13; John Postle Heseltine (British)and Dr. J. Paul Richter (1847-1937), their sale, Muller, Amsterdam, May 27-28, 1913 (lot 297, pl. 46); Alfred Strölin (French), his sale, Paris, Hotel Drouot, June 30, 1922 (lot 3); Countess Wachtmeister acuired from Richard Owen; her sale, Sotheby's, London, December 15, 1954 (lot 94); Jean Cailleux (French)
Galerie Georges Petit, Paris. "Chardin et Fragonard, Paris, Galeries Georges Petit, 1907," 1907.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Walter C. Baker Collection of Drawings," June 2–September 4, 1960.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant," October 6, 2016–January 8, 2017.
Bean and Turcic 1986.114, Ananoff 958
Baron Roger Portalis Honoré Fragonard, sa vie et son oeuvre. vol. 2, Paris, 1889, p. 307, opp. 166 as "Maisons rustiques au bord d'une Mare, dominées par les Ruines d'un vieux Chateau", ill.
Chardin et Fragonard. Exh. cat. Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, Paris, 1907, cat. no. 192, p. 13.
Alexandre Ananoff, Jacques Wilhelm Oeuvres de Fragonard. Exh. cat., Grasse, Musée Fragonard. 1957, cat. no. 51, fig. no. XII, ill.
Claus Virch "The Walter C. Baker Collection of Master Drawings." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 18, no. 10, New York, June 1960, pp. 315-316.
Alexandre Ananoff L'oeuvre dessiné de Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) Catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1961-1970, cat. no. 958, fig. no. 259, pp. 141-142, ill.
Claus Virch Master Drawings in the Collection of Walter C. Baker. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1962, cat. no. 78, p. 45, ill.
Jacob Bean "Curatorial Reports and Departmental Accessions: Drawings." In Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 1, 1979 - June 30, 1980. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 110, New York, 1980, p. 27.
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. 114, pp. 110-111, ill.
Perrin Stein, Marie-Anne Dupuy-Vachey, Eunice Williams, Kelsey Brosnan Fragonard--Drawing Triumphant. New York, 2016, cat. no. 43, 154-56, ill.
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