Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732–1806)
Oil on canvas
32 x 25 3/4 in. (81.3 x 65.4 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1937 (37.118)
The model's costume recalls the court dress in which Rubens depicted Marie de Médicis (1573–1642), queen of France, in the series of famous paintings in the Musée du Louvre. She has recently been identified as Marie Émilie Coignet de Courson (1727–1806).
Fragonard's canvas is broadly brushed, with exceptional virtuosity and panache. There is humor in the contrast between the ample proportions of the lady and the small size of her lapdog; the curl of his silky tail echoes her gray ringlets. Her pearls are too large to have been real.