About the Artist
Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) was a prolific painter and draftsman, and is considered to be one of the most important French painters of the second half of the 18th century. Over four decades, he produced many brilliantly realized easel paintings, like The Swing (1767), and large-scale decorative works, like Progress of Love (1771–1772). These paintings marked Fragonard as a brilliant painter, but his apparently whimsical temperament and independent ways meant that he never realized the conventional rewards his talent deserved.
This magnet features Jean-Honoré Fragonard's A Young Girl Reading (1770). Perhaps more than the work of his two teachers, Boucher and Chardin, Fragonard's bravura handling of brushwork and color embodies 18th-century painting aesthetics. In A Young Girl Reading, the subject is shown in profile holding a book in her right hand and completely absorbed in her reading. She appears to be sitting in a window, as light illuminates her face and body casting a faint shadow against the wall. She wears a lemon-yellow dress with a white collar and cuffs accented with lilac ribbons at the bodice and neck, which match the ribbons in her hair. She is resting on fluffy pillows rendered in warm brown tones and highlighted in light purple. Each texture is evoked with in a different brushstroke: her dress a thick weave of yellow and white, the pillows more loosely sketched, and her collar edged with the handle of the brush. As in Chardin's Soap Bubbles, the viewer feels privy to an intimate moment.
- 2 x 3 inches