The Stolen Kiss

Jean Honoré Fragonard French

Not on view

A masterfully executed, incandescent glow highlights fitful hands and a kiss won in a card game. While Fragonard is best known for energetic, broadly brushed paint surfaces, here the high degree of finish emulates seventeenth-century Dutch painting and demonstrates his technical range. More directly, Fragonard’s elegantly dressed peasants are taken from one of his teachers, François Boucher. Executed during Fragonard’s first Italian sojourn, this painting appears to have been owned by Bailli de Bréteuil, Malta’s ambassador to the Holy See, and was probably among Fragonard’s first private commissions.

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

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