Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) was a French painter whose late manner is distinguished by remarkable facility, exuberance, and hedonism. A prolific artist, Fragonard produced more than 550 paintings. The J. Paul Getty Museum’s Fragonard masterpiece, The Fountain of Love, is part of a series of his most striking works called the Allegories of Love, exquisite paintings that convey an atmosphere of intimacy and eroticism.
This lavishly illustrated book compares and analyzes the compositions, iconography, and sources of the Allegories in the context of ancien régime Preromanticism. The author discusses the transcendental aspect of love in the Allegories and the concept of Romantic love and painting on the eve of the French Revolution. The book accompanies Consuming Passion: Fragonard’s Allegories of Love, an exhibition of the artist’s work that opens at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on October 28, 2007, and at the J. Paul Getty Museum on February 12, 2008.