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A young girl, identified as Rousseau’s heroine, Julie, in a sale catalogue of 1792, carves the initial of her lover on the bark of a tree, while observed by her pet spaniel, the symbol of her fidelity. The theme reflects the increasing sensibilité of the second half of the eighteenth century. Its scale and careful technique also show Fragonard varying his style to echo the contemporary taste for the ‘little masters’ of seventeenth-century Holland, although he continued to animate such stylistic references with his own inimitable theatrical lighting, delicate draughtsmanship and calligraphic traceries of hair and foliage.

The Wallace Collection

London


Date

c.1776–c.1778

Medium

oil on walnut panel

Measurements

H 25.2 x W 19 cm

Accession number

P382

Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1865; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type

Painting


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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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