An image of Rinaldo in the gardens of Armida

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

(France 1732 – 1806)

Rinaldo in the gardens of Armida

Not on display
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.

Peter Raissis, Prints & drawings Europe 1500–1900, 2014

brush and brown ink over black chalk underdrawing
35.5 x 46.3 cm sheet; 65.0 x 74.6 x 3.5 cm frame
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Gift of James Fairfax AC 1993
Accession number