Jean-HonorĂ© Fragonard (French, 1732-1806)
Brush and brown ink with graphite squaring lines and underdrawing on cream laid paper, Sheet: 33.5 x 41.6 cm (13 3/16 x 16 3/8 in.); Secondary Support: 37.6 x 47.8 cm (14 3/4 x 18 13/16 in.). Grace Rainey Rogers Fund 1943.657
Set in a lush garden, this allegory focuses on a woman pleading for help from a statue of Eros. His blindfold alludes to the uncertain outcome of her affair, while the indifferent putto leaning on an orb suggests this woman is not the first to make a desperate appeal to the god of Love. Details like the antique statuary, the womanâ€™s Roman sandals, and her position parallel to the picture plane (much like depictions on ancient sculptural reliefs) reflect Neoclassical style. However, Fragonardâ€™s portrayal of the womanâ€™s feelings through her pose and the billowing robes anticipates Romanticism, a late 18th-century artistic and literary movement that celebrated emotion as a source of aesthetic experience.
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