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A Young Girl by Jean-Honoré Fragonard Rediscovered

Published on , by Carole Blumenfeld
Auction on 21 December 2023 - 14:00 (CET) - Salle 4 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009

The reappearance of a previously unknown work by Jean-Honoré Fragonard is in many ways the answer to an enigma, one that we can only guess at but never fully grasp.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), Jeune fille au chapeau (Young Girl With a Hat),...  A Young Girl by Jean-Honoré Fragonard Rediscovered

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), Jeune fille au chapeau (Young Girl With a Hat), canvas, 52 x 42.5 cm/20.4 x 16.5 in. Estimate: €400,00/600,000

In 2021, the Philosophe Lisant ( A Philosopher Reading ) made a lasting impression and heated up the bidding at the Épernay auction house, where it sold for €7.6 million to a French collector. Two years later, the discovery of its "fantasy pendant" is almost as exciting, all the more so as it could herald a cascade of new Fragonard discoveries in the years to come. Fa Presto! At the Salon of 1767, it is possible Jean-Honoré Fragonard was aware of what Diderot thought of him: "Fragonard has the makings of a skilful man, but he's not; he's feisty, incorrect and his color volatile". The painter from Grasse embraced this characterization , and his rapid, "esquissé" style became a feat, of which the "Figures de fantaisie" (Fantasy Figures) were his most famous achievement, as demonstrated by the ancient labels affixed behind the Portrait de La Bretèche and the Portrait de l'abbé de Saint-Non (Paris, Musée du Louvre), "painted by Fragonard in 1769, in one hour's time". The fa presto and virtuosity of the Philosophe Lisant and the Jeune fille au chapeau ( Young Girl With a Hat ) are part of the same playful process. This new…
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Thursday 21 December 2023 - 14:00 (CET) - Live
Salle 4 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009 Paris
Boisgirard - Antonini