An Artist's Education: Fragonard and the Old Masters

After completing his formal studies in 1759 at the age of twenty-eight, Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) was invited on a tour of Italy by Jean-Claude Richard, the Abbé de Saint-Non, an amateur artist and avid enthusiast of the arts. While Saint-Non described the journey in a diary, Fragonard created black chalk copies of some of the major works of art found in each city they visited.  More than two-hundred drawings were made during his trip. The largest single group of these drawings is in the Norton Simon Foundation collection.

An Artist's Education: Fragonard and the Old Masters features a selection of approximately twenty of these important drawings which vividly demonstrate Fragonard’s virtuosity in this medium and his ability to frame each subject from a surprising and less recognizable viewpoint. With immense ability and imagination, Fragonard captured the essence of these masterpieces with a unique eye, while thoroughly keeping within the eighteenth century aesthetic.