Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806) was a French painter and printmaker whose late Rococo style was disrtinguised by a remarkable facility, exuberance and hedonism. The starting point for this beautifully illustrated book was the discovery in 2012 of a drawing by Fragonard depicting his so-called 'fantasy figures'. Fragonard's drawing presents thumbnail-sized sketches relating to 14 of his known 'fantasy-figure' paintings - rapily executed, brightly coloured portraits of lavished costumed individuals, including Young Girl Reading (c.1770) in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
This book assembles Fragonard's fantasy figures alongside his original sketch for the first time. It presents scientific research into the mysterious series and examines the eighteenth-century Parisian world of new money, unexpected social alliances and extravagant fashions from which theseunique paintings emerged.