The Love Letter

Jean Honoré Fragonard French

Not on view

Finish is a relative term in Fragonard’s paintings. Here, over a brown tone, Fragonard seems to sketch with the tip of his brush energetic strokes of varying thickness that capture sunlight that lands at the center of the canvas, along the woman’s cap, powdered face, flowers, dress, and dog. This painting should not be read as a portrait, but as a genre scene that takes up a key eighteenth-century theme, the love letter, in which the appreciation of the work is as much about how Fragonard paints as what he depicts.

#2215. The Love Letter

The Love Letter, Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, Grasse 1732–1806 Paris), Oil on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.