An image of Rinaldo in the gardens of Armida

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

(France 1732 – 1806)

Rinaldo in the gardens of Armida

Location
Temporary exhibitions gallery
Further information

Fragonard spent almost six years in Italy and this drawing takes as its subject an episode from the Italian writer Tasso's epic 'Jerusalem delivered'. Having fallen in love with the Christian warrior Rinaldo, Armida entices him into her enchanted garden to prevent him returning to the war. Lully's opera 'Armide' was performed in Paris in 1761, and this perhaps partly inspired Fragonard. It is not certain whether this drawing - and its pendant 'Rinaldo in the enchanted forest' - were done before or after the two oil paintings of the same composition. This wash drawing gives the effect of a painting. Fragonard was the typical Rococo painter of lighthearted and gallant subjects during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. The French Revolution put an end to his patrons and Fragonard died almost forgotten.

Year
1761-1764
Media
Drawing
Medium
brush and brown ink over black chalk underdrawing
Dimensions
35.5 x 46.3 cm sheet; 65.0 x 74.6 x 3.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Gift of James Fairfax AC 1993
Accession number
485.1993