Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806), French painter of the rococo age, was popular in the courts of Louis XV and Louis XVI for his delicately colored scenes of romance, often in garden settings. Born in Grasse on April 5. 1732, he began to study painting at the age 18 in Paris with Chardin, but he formed his style principally on the work of his next master François Boucher. His debt to Boucher is constant, not only because he concentrated on the same theme of sensual love, but because he was also obsessed with the same techniques of painting. Regardless of their sometimes frivolous subjects, his canvases are widely admired for their brilliant, almost abstract compositions and quickly-brushed colors. His chief work was decorative panels commissioned by Madame du Barry, mistress of Loius XV, for her chateau at Louveciennes.
The French Revolution which destroyed the nobility on which Fragonard depended for commissions, ruined him financially. Although befriended by David, the leading painter of the new neo-classical school, Fragonard did not adjust to the new style and died poor in Paris on 22 August 1806.
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