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Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Date: (1732–1806)
Place Active: Europe, Paris
School: French Rococo
Biography: Born in Grasse, Fragonard was still a child when his family moved to Paris. He studied briefly with Chardin, then entered the atelier of Boucher. In 1752 he won the Prix de Rome, and after three years of preparation under Carle Vanloo he left to study in Italy. His Coroesus Slays Himself to Save Callirhoe, which was bought by Louis XV in 1765, won the artist membership in the Academy, a residence in the Louvre, and the title “peintre du roi.” In 1773–74 he made a second trip to Italy. His activity as an illustrator, etcher, and painter of romantic subjects continued until the Revolution. Because of ill health Fragonard retired to Grasse in 1790, but a year later he was back in Paris. Under the sponsorship of David he held various administrative posts at the Muséum des Arts — the present Musée du Louvre. His new eminence was short-lived, however; he died poor and almost forgotten. Source: Art in The Frick Collection: Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.