Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Swing by Fragonard

Name: The Swing
Artist's Name: Jean-Honore Fragonard
Date: 1766
Period: Rococo
Material: Oil on canvas
Purpose: Private "intrigue" picture

Rococo themes centered on love, pursued through erotic frivolity and playful intrigue. Artful fantasy paintings became ornamental reflections on the cherished pastimes or the wealthy French. Fragonard's The Swing is typical of this personal keepsake style. An unsuspecting old bishop pushes a pretty young woman on a swing. In front of her lies her lover, the work's patron, strategically positioned. As the swing reaches its full height, the woman kicks off her shoe at the statue of Cupid holding a finger to his lips, boldly and flirtatiously lifting her skirt in the process. The glowing pastel colors and soft light convey the theme's sensuality.

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