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(b Grasse, 5 Apr. 1732; d Paris, 22 Aug. 1806). French painter whose scenes of frivolity and gallantry are among the most complete embodiments of the Rococo spirit: he has been described as the ‘fragrant essence’ of the 18th century. After a brief period studying with Chardin, to whom he was temperamentally unsuited, Fragonard became Boucher's most brilliant pupil and in 1752 won the Prix de Rome, even though he was not officially qualified to enter the competition as he was not a student at the Académie Royale (Boucher said ‘It does not matter: you are my pupil’).

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)