Exhibition | Fragonard: Poetry and Passion

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on January 1, 2014

From the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe:

Fragonard: Poetry and Passion / Poesie und Leidenschaft
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 30 November 2013 — 23 February 2014

You could say that the drawings are the diary of his imagination.
–Edmond and Jules de Goncourt, 1865


Jean-Honoré Fragonard, La Surprise, ca. 1771
(Musée des Beaux-Arts, Angers)

The work of Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) is the embodiment of elegance and expressiveness. The French artist was one of the outstanding masters of the 18th century; and yet his name is relatively unfamiliar to many in Germany today. Born in Grasse, Fragonard spent most of his life in Paris, where he was a pupil of François Boucher. Despite initial successes in the Paris Salon exhibition, he embarked on a path outside the Academy and found his main audience among wealthy private collectors.

First monographic exhibition in Germany of Fragonard’s work

The Karlsruhe exhibition principally features a selection of Fragonard’s drawings, enriched by several oil studies and paintings. With some 80 works in all, the display gives an insight into the dazzling versatility of an oeuvre that includes scenes of cheerful social gatherings, landscapes, narrative scenes, and intimate depictions of great sensuality. The exhibition captures and reflects the artist’s delight in experimentation, his vitality of imagination, and boldness in formal composition. In the same breath, Fragonard demonstrates both how firmly rooted he was in the artistic tradition of the 17th century and his skill in being able to vary and reinterpret the repertoire of forms and subjects of that tradition. Through his handling of chalk and brush, he created compositions of sparkling imagination and great passion.

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the generous support of international lenders, including the Louvre in Paris, the Albertina in Vienna, the British Museum in London, and the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, as well as several private collectors.

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From Artbooks.com:

Juliane Betz, ed., Fragonard: Poesie und Leidenschaft (Munich, Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2013), 272 pages, ISBN: 978-3422072145, $68.50.

519F08hupQL._SX342_The current exhibition at Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe focuses on drawings by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, one of the finest French artists of the 18th century. They are juxtaposed against selected paintings that reveal links between his graphic and painterly works. Fragonard developed a unique pictorial idiom, which made use of both painterly and graphic elements and elevated unworked sections of bare paper into a core compositional element.

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