First disciple J.-Baptiste Chardin, and then Francois Boucher. In 1752 went to Rome. In Rome had an immense influence on him of the Italian masters of the XVII century, Morocco, Solimena, P. da Cortona and especially Tiepolo. On his return to Paris he exhibited at the salon 1765 picture: "the Death of Corese" (located in the Louvre Museum in Paris), for which the Royal Academy of arts took it into their cleaner it became very popular and sold at a high price, thanks to which he could be a good tool. But the outbreak of the revolution devastated him, and classicism placed in the French art of J.-L. David, deprived of its former popularity.
Fragonard was one of the largest European painters of XVIII century and a spokesman highly valued in the world market "French spirit." Infinitely replicable in engraving and chromolithographs, his works gained very wide spread and became popular. But fame came to him only in the XIX century (essay brothers Goncourt, 1865), the contemporaries of the first flattered him, and then began to criticize; in the end of XVIII century and the first half of the XIX century it was simply forgotten. In bulletresistant biography Fragonard many fictional (love affair with fashionable dancer Mademoiselle Guimard, Actresses Commedia Dell'arte sisters Colombes, with the daughter of the artist Margarita Gerard). Heritage Fragonard also unreliable; sometimes he is credited with numerous copies and works full of his contemporaries, virtually unknown today (Travel). Art Fragonard cannot only be regarded as an embodiment of the fascinating and somewhat vulgar Rococo spirit; it reflects a variety of search and doubt of that era - from Versailles time of Louis XV to the Napoleon of Paris.
Education (1746-1761). Born in 1732 in Grasse in a modest family, Fragonard at the age of six are in Paris. However, he was not a "provincial artist". Ujani by their appearance (stocky, dark-haired, quickly plump and bald) and nature (live and very sociable), he received the pure Parisian education. He goldenbell become a clerk in the office of a notary, but was fond of painting and began to attend the workshop Bush, then briefly studied Chardin, who has not had a significant impact on the creativity of the young painter, and went back to the Bush. Fragonard was the beloved disciple Bush, through which he took part in the contest for the Rome prize (first prize, 1752). Then Fragonard went to art school, led by Charles vanloo, where he studied in 1753-1756 and got rather messy education. During this early period (that is, up to 24 years) Fragonard works in the style, a close manner Bush, but already very confident, though somewhat artificial (catalogue of Wildenstein, 1960). Some works, such as submitted to the Rome prize picture "Jeroboam who worship idols" (1752), the Paris School of fine arts) or feet Washing", ordered in 1754 brotherhood MPs. Ordinances in Grasse (1754-1755, GRE, Cathedral) give the artist's desire for a "great way", to a brilliant, but reasonably style, oscillating between the modern taste and tradition of the XVII century Parisian collection that time allowed the Fragonard get to know the painting of the Northern schools (in particular with the art of Rembrandt; Fragonard performed a copy of Rembrandt "SV. Collection" from the Crozat collection). However, the style of the young artist had not yet fully determined. The decisive role in this process was played by his Italian journey. At the end of 1756 Fragonard was adopted by Natoire in the French Academy in Rome and stayed here until 1761. Confused by the first Dating, he was soon chosen for themselves role models. It especially helped two people - Hubert Robert, who was in Rome for two years, and Abbot of Saint-Non, young and rich art lover, who arrived in Rome in 1759 and highly appreciated the talent of the young artist. Together with the Abbot Fragonard went in Tivoli (1760) and Naples (winter 1760-1761)and in Bologna, Venice and Genoa. Careful study of the works of different masters from Carracci to Veronese, from Tiepolo to Solimena is reflected in a large series of etchings printed on his return to Paris (1764). These years, full of enthusiasm and discoveries, became the most fruitful in the works Fragonard. He writes sensual landscapes, built on contrasts tones ("the Little Park, ca. 1760, London, Wallace collection) and sometimes very dramatic ("thunder-Storm", 1759, Paris, Louvre) and genre scenes give the genre "bamboccioni" status "large painting ("the Italian family", new York, Metropolitan Museum of art). So in the works Fragonard appear it's main theme, and the brush gets his Verve and confidence.
Second Paris period (1761-1773). In September 1761 Fragonard returned to Paris as already established artist. He still
patronized Abbot of Saint-Non and he was "charged" to the Academy for the painting "the Priest Korea, sacrificing himself to save Calliou" (Paris, Louvre; the sketch - Angers, Museum), which was admired Diderot (beauty 1765) and which was purchased by the king himself. He has received an order for Cor. the Gobelins manufactory (not implemented), as well as a workshop in the Louvre. In 1768 Fragonard married twenty-two years old Mary-Ann Gerard, who came from Grasse and engaged in painting: it was a strong and happy marriage that would be about it wrote. However, the further career of the artist has evolved somewhat unexpectedly. Fragonard refuses academic honors, not writes introductory works, quickly leaves of history painting and painting (the ceiling for Besancon, Museum of fine arts). It quickly creates a favorite of collectors Cabinet paintings by such piquant stories like "Swing" (London, Wallace collection), love or gallant scenes that are directly associated with the tradition of the Bush, and the landscapes in which the artist willingly addresses the lessons of Northern masters ("Landscape with laundreses", Grae, the Museum). Special freedom quick manner Fragonard reaches in the so-called "imaginary portrait" (fifteen of these portraits were painted OK. 1769; eight of them are in the Louvre, in particular, "Etude", "Music", "Diderot") and two scenes inspired by the story "Rinaldo and Armida" (Paris, a collection of Weyl-Picard). A kind of result of these searches were four large panels ordered Madame du Barry for pavilion in Louveciennes; they represent the top artist (1770-1773, new York, the Frick collection). The success Fragonard was huge, but his art seemed to have already a passed stage. It was during these years in Paris approved Neoclassicism, and a group of young painters, loyal "to the modern taste", is under attack. Budding decoration of the pavilion in Louveciennes sneered in the pamphlet "Dialogues about painting" (attributed to Ren) as an example of art loved by the ignorant. Place the panel Fragonard take in Louveciennes four compositions of Vienne. This criticism very hurt Fragonard. His friend, the financier Bergeres, and takes away his wife on a long trip (1773-1774) to the South of France, in Italy (they visited Rome and Naples) and on the way back - Austria. During this trip Fragonard created a series of Sangin and watercolors (sketches of scenery and national characters), which are masterpieces of his graphic work
Third, the Paris period (1776-1806). On his return Fragonard in Paris (end 1774) begins more than thirty years (half of creative activity), but little studied the period of his creativity. He loses its former popularity, and the Revolution will cause him a final blow. If at first Fragonard reacted to new ideas very favorably ("Genius Franklin", engraved Marguerite Gerard,1778), then he became more cautious. Deeply shocked by the death of his daughter Rosalie (October 1788), he left Paris and went to Grae (1790-1791). The events of the Revolution has reduced its considerable status, and his clientele was expelled from the country or ruined. However, Fragonard escaped poverty, thanks to his former pupil of David and his knowledge of expert; he got the position and salary of the custodian of the Museum (the future of the Louvre, 1793-1800). If he had no admirers, then the works of his relatives and Schoolgirls Marguerite Gerard became more popular; increased the authority of his son, evarist, who studied in David. Surrounded by family and a few close friends, the "father of Fraga" happily survived the monarchy; he died after a short illness on August 22, 1806.