The Swing is composed in a triangular shape, with the Baron and the husband forming the base of the pyramid, and the maiden in the air at the top of the triangle, in the center of the space. University of Chicago Press; 2nd edition, Paintings such as The Swing brought Fragonard harsh criticism from philosophers such as Denis Diderot, one of the foremost designers of the French Enlightenment. The Smarthistory video raises the issue that the dog, which normally appears in art as a symbol of fidelity, obviously is inappropriate in this context. The Palace of Versailles was the ideal in decadent Rococo art and architecture, informed by ideas of the French Enlightenment.

The dog, the foliage, the girl and her remarkable clothing came from a world in which drawing is unknown … and unnecessary. Louvre, Paris; Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin. The Swing by Fragonard. Really interesting images, Bob! So it seems most agree that this is a fish, not a beehive, and I do too, but I thought it was interesting that the fish really looks nothing like a dolphin to me.

In the foreground the playboy Baron himself is depicted, reclining in the lush shrubbery, one arm outstretched towards the maiden’s skirts, his other arm holding his balance. Love Pursuing a Dove. Utilizing typical Rococo techniques such as billowing fabrics, pastel colors, and soft dappled lighting, he created a perfect confectionery painting, fit for the garden or the palace.

fragonard the swing essay

There are four important subjects in this picture. Metropolitan Museum of Art. During the mids, revitalizing the idiom pioneered by Jean-Antoine WatteauFragonard began to specialize in the playful, erotic compositions for which he is now most famous. Here’s a good pla… https: I’ll ask a question for you guys as well: It all revolves around fragohard love and the scandals that can be involved with that.


The greatest lesson I have learnt looking at adaptations of mythological subjects is that they are malleable to the whim of the artist — from a greek vase painter to Twombly! Julien as a portrait of his mistress, The Swing was to be painted to the following specificity: Detroit Institute of Arts.

Yinka Shonibare, The Swing (After Fragonard)

December 28, at 7: The Rococo style attempted to appeal more to the sensual rather than the intellectual side. Overall Fragonard’s The Swing, rich with symbolism, not only manages to capture a moment of complete spontaneity and joie de vivre, swkng also alludes to the illicit affair that may have already been going on, or is about to begin.

fragonard the swing essay

September 25, at 5: This is the miracle of Fragonard and everyone with a human heart responds in a similar way. Email Subscription An email notification will be sent whenever a new post appears on this site. The lady’s slipper, which flies off her foot as she swings so easily, is another playful touch which helps accentuate the erotic subject matter, as well as providing a visual focus in the splash of sunlight.

Do you see a fish or a beehive in this painting? Ambiguities of meaning later ffragonard to rely on other factors than iconographical markers alone. Fragonard in the Universe of Painting.

fragonard the swing essay

Boy, was I wrong about that! I simply want to have a deeper understanding of all the factors contributing to an artists approach.

Yinka Shonibare, The Swing (After Fragonard) (article) | Khan Academy

Background A highly important figure in 18th century French paintingwho now ranks among the greatest of all Rococo artiststhe exceptionally talented Fragonard trained under Francois Swibg – whose main patron was Louis XV’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour – and Jean Chardinfamous for his still life painting and genre works. Boucher specialized in the combination of the pastoral scene with a passionate sensibility.


Saint-Julien specified the details of the painting and wanted his mistress to be depicted as the woman in the scene.

According to some mythological accounts, Venus was born out of the sea. September 25, at 8: And I love the thought of a little freshman heidenkind writing on a Thai Buddhist painting.

As she kicks off her shoe, she spreads her legs for the boy in the bushes to get an interesting view of the scenery. The Progress of Love: Okay so here you go guys, here is a piece of visual art for you! The symbol of a cherub is one of love and passion, which further explains the narrative of the piece.

A great deal of Fragonard’s client base fragoonard during the Terror in Paris, and he was forgotten for a time. In contrast, other aspects of the painting remain in shadow, such as the husband, possibly referencing his being “in the dark” as to his wife’s affair.

September 24, at 8: