Fragonard in Naples: Drawings after the Old Masters
Fragonard in Naples: Drawings After the Old Masters is an exhibition of twenty-two black chalk drawings by Jean Honoré Fragonard. The selection comes from a collection of 139 drawings that Fragonard executed between 1761 and 1762 while traveling through Italy with the Abbé de St. Non, a wealthy collector and amateur artist. Their tour included the most artistically important cities of Italy, including Naples, Rome, Florence, Bologna, and Venice. The Abbé commissioned Fragonard to make sketches after many of the great artworks found in each city. He retained these sketches for his Journal of a Voyage Made in Italy, and wrote descriptive annotations on each. Twenty years later the Abbé published these memoirs of his journey in the celebrated five volume Voyage Pittoresque de Naples et de Sicile. This guidebook formed part of a growing body of literature in the eighteenth-century that was cultivated in large part by the increasing popularity of Italy as a travel destination among well-to-do Northern Europeans.