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The First Riding Lesson

Jean Honoré Fragonard French

Not on view

Playful scenes featuring the instruction of small children were a favored subject of Fragonard’s in the mid-1770s. He often treated the theme in the form of large-scale drawings built up of broad strokes of pale golden brown wash. The dog here is a patient stand-in for a horse, as young parents give their child a first "riding lesson." The figures are not, as earlier scholars believed, portraits of Fragonard’s family members but rather generalized types who appear again and again in his domestic scenes.

The First Riding Lesson, Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, Grasse 1732–1806 Paris), Brush and brown wash over black chalk underdrawing

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