Frances-Honoré Fragonard painted beautiful paintings. His paintings were all similar in style but they all conveyed a different meaning. He was an artist in the rococo period, this period was a very beautiful period because of the colors that were used to create the paintings. All of his paintings made me happy and created a sense of playfulness. Fragonard’s paintings were all very playful from The Swing to The Seesaw. All of his paintings were the same style of the Rococo period which was a period that I found to be very beautiful.
Fragonard’s paintings belonged to the Rococo period, which was a period during the 18th century and dominated Germany and France (Frank, 301). The style of this period was pastels which consisted of whites, greens, yellows, pinks and blues. These colors really show in all of his paintings, they all complement each other so well. The Rococo period used contrasting colors that made the paintings pop. The contrasts of the darks and the lights all worked really well together. The best painting that showed this was The Happy Accidents of the Swing, I say this because of the darkness adds the depth to the paintings and the light highlights the woman in the swing and the man in the bottom corner of the painting. The colors of the Rococo period showed through in all the paintings that Fragonard done which I believe was what made his paintings so beautiful. This period was probably my favorite era because of the colors and the way the artist made the people look like porcelain dolls.
The mediums that Fragonard used was oil on canvas. This was what a majority of his paintings were created from. The oil paintings gave all the photos the same effects and allowed his paintings to have the same sense of creation. Fragonard used long strokes to create the textures of grass, dresses, water and many other details that are put into a painting. These techniques are shown in The Shepherdess, if you look at this painting in particular, you can see the longer strokes in her dress and the layers of her dress. The trees are an example of shorter stokes that give it a whole new level of details. Using the long and short strokes in the same painting was a major accomplishment because it gives the painting so many details. Again, Fragonard uses contrasting colors to make certain colors pop. The basket of flowers that have pink, blue, and yellow flowers is surrounded by darker colors that make that one particular detail pop. According to The Art Story, “His application of paint, with its attention to light and reliance on quick, expressive brushstrokes…”.
Fragonard influenced many people but none of the painters could achieve the same level of painting that he did (The Art Story). He went to the Royal Academy in Italy but he didn’t want to take the schooling seriously. He always outshined on the art projects but when it came to being lectured or doing classwork he lost interest. Fragonard painted for pure joy and never truly knew the extent of his talents. According to The Art Story, he picked up the forgotten painting The Progress of Love series that was forgotten in Grasse. Fragonard said, “I was in awe of Michelangelo’s energy. I felt things that I could not express. When I saw the beauty of the Raphaels, I was moved to tears, and I could scarcely hold my pencil. For several months I remained in a state of apathy that I was unable to overcome, until I resolved to study the painter who I felt I had a chance of rivaling: and so I turned my attention to Barocci, Pietro da Cortona, Solimena, and Tiepolo.” (The Art Story).
The most famous and well-known painting that Fragonard done was The Happy Accidents of the Swing. This painting was apparently a sexual metaphor because of the positioning of the woman on the swing and when the swing reached its peak, climax1, the loss of the shoe is like the loss of her innocence (The Art Story). This painting has the woman swinging on a swing. The man on the right behind her is supposedly her husband pushing her and the man in the left is her secret admirer. She flirtatiously kicks her shoe off to get his attention, like she doesn’t already have his undivided attention. There are many interpretations of what the true meaning of this painting is, this is just one of the reasons. He is one of the most important French painters in the second half of the 18th century (National Gallery of Art). He was inspired by the landscapes and garden imagery, this is very noticeable in all of his paintings that he loved incorporating nature into his paintings.
Fragonard was pretty wealthy and earned a good living by selling paintings to private buyers and he participated in a bunch of private work (National Government of Art). By doing this I believe that he was very successful because he was doing paintings for people privately, which in turn would make more money. I believe that Fragonard was very well off because of the fact that he only had one true student, which was his sister-in-law which would allow him to focus more on his personal interest and not have to mentor so many people.
In the modern day, Fragonard is a thing in the past, the artist of the Rococo period lived in privacy so their work is regarded more of historical interest rather than artistic (Artble). In the older time Fragonard was respected more than he is today because the style of his art was more relevant to that era than it is now. In museums, it is appreciated but on its own people don’t really pay attention to art anymore. Fragonard was born into a basic home where he wasn’t exposed to art, he didn’t learn to appreciate and create art until later in his life. He got turned down by Boucher because he didn’t know how to paint, but Chardin accepted liked the colors he used and let him paint immediately according to What he really enjoyed painting was landscapes and not what the school was making him do. Fragonard to me was a little rebellious because of the fact that he didn’t do what he was instructed to do, he followed his dreams and did what made him truly happy. Fragonard was an amazing artist and I believe that everyone should know a little about his art and learn to appreciate his artwork.