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Swing (Happy swing)

Painting, 1767, 65×81 cm

Description of the artwork «Swing (Happy swing)»

"Swing" – not just the most famous and truly iconic artwork of Jean-Honore Fragonard. We say "Fragonard" and the implied "Swing" – and Vice versa. It is amazing that writing a picture on this spicy story the customer is initially offered a completely different artist.

One of the richest financiers in France, the Baron Saint-Julien wanted to do something nice for his lover. In their secret nest for dates, he invited the artist, just who was at the Zenith of fame after a successful submission to the Salon of paintings on religious themes "the Miracle in the chapel of St. Genevieve", – Gabriel Francois Doyen. Not in the least embarrassed by the impropriety of the situation, Saint-Julien began to explain the idea: "I want you portrayed Madame on a swing that rocks Bishop. Well, I place on the canvas so I could see the legs of this charming establishment!"

The Dean literally numb from the blatant indecency of the proposal. How?! He, the acknowledged master of high genre, to undertake to write a kept woman? And even in such an ambiguous setting! For a moment, the artist overpowered him as a moralist, and Dean noticed how out of place would be in the picture vzvilsya in the air Shoe, and catch her rushed cupids. But then I caught myself: no, it's against his principles! He had intended an insult to slam the door, when suddenly it dawned on me: it is possible to forward the order to the Fragonard. Dean jarred undeserved, he thought, the popularity of Fragonard, this frivolous Troubadour frivolity. And, referring the customer to him, Dean is such a sophisticated way showed their arrogant disgust, perhaps even wanted to humiliate the pride of a competitor. However, the story set priorities in reverse: the name and work of the Doyen now known except to connoisseurs, while "the Swing" by Fragonard perceived as a true symbol of French culture.

Many years ago Fragonard gallant wrote a sketch called "Swing". At that time he was a student Francois Boucher and sought to imitate his brilliant mentor. Comparing early and late "Swing", you can see how increased skill Fragonard, how sophisticated were his compositional ability, virtuosity of brush, exquisite color.

Amid the dense vegetation of the garden (itself is a riot of greenery emphasizes the idea of the carnal joys of earth) floats on the swings, round-faced beauty. Someone of indeterminate age – perhaps a servant or even a husband and yoke – pull the rope, swinging swings, and on the other side, behind a hedge hiding her happy lover. The piquancy of the situation not only in that he observes graceful legs, white stockings and even a red garter on one of them, but that swaying swing about the presence of the next potential Challenger does not even know. The wild rose Bush is securely hides it from prying eyes, and standing on a pedestal sculpted Cupid put a finger to his lips, expressing his full cooperation in love. Based on this alignment of actors, the picture was called "Happy swing".

Everything here is imbued with the erotic shock of the Rococo style. And everything is subordinated to a characteristic of Rococo fancy curves: foam lace pink and white dress, resembling a cloud, gracefully bent branches of trees, and even Shoe, like, flying through the ornate rocaille Curling trajectory. We say "Rococo" – and immediately draw in the mind "Swing." We say "Happy..." and the implied "Fragonard".

Author: Anna Yesterday
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Rococo

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1767

Size: 65×81 cm

Artwork in selections: 75 selections