girl on swing painting
This style of “frivolous” painting soon became the target of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, who demanded a more serious art which would show the nobility of man. 
The painting depicts an elegant young woman on a swing. A smiling young man, hiding in the bushes on the left, watches her from a vantage point that allows him to see up into her billowing dress, where his arm is pointed with hat in hand. A smiling older man, who is nearly hidden in the shadows on the right, propels the swing with a pair of ropes. The older man appears to be unaware of the young man. As the young lady swings high, she throws her left leg up, allowing her dainty shoe to fly through the air. The lady is wearing a bergère hat (shepherdess hat). Two statues are present, one of a putto, who watches from above the young man on the left with its finger in front of its lips in a sign of silence, the other of pair of putti, who watch from beside the older man, on the right. There is a small dog shown barking in the lower right hand corner, in front of the older man. According to the memoirs of the dramatist Charles Collé,  a courtier (homme de la cour)  asked first Gabriel François Doyen to make this painting of him and his mistress. Not comfortable with this frivolous work, Doyen refused and passed on the commission to Fragonard.  The man had requested a portrait of his mistress seated on a swing being pushed by a bishop, but Fragonard painted a layman.
Two Girls on a Swing Painting
Jacaranda Time Painting
Peter Paul Rubens:
Always a fan of the Dutch Masters, the inspiration that Rubens provided is clear in this portrait with its attention to detail, loose fluid brushwork, and freewheeling attitude of the scene.
The lady’s slipper, which flies off her foot as she swings so easily, is another playful touch which helps accentuate the erotic subject matter, as well as providing a visual focus in the splash of sunlight.
The Swing (L’Escarpolette), originally known as Lucky Happenings on the Swing (Les Hasards heureux de l’escarpolette), is Fragonard’s best known work. It is believed to have been commissioned by the Baron de Saint-Julien, who wanted a picture of his mistress on a swing being pushed by a bishop, whilst he (the Baron) was so positioned as to be able to see up her the girl’s skirt. (Note: The Baron’s insistence on a bishop was probably a private joke, as he himself occupied an important position in the Church, as Receiver General of the French clergy.) As it was, Fragonard replaced the bishop with the more traditional figure of a cuckolded husband, but otherwise fullfilled the commission almost to the letter.
An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1768) by Joseph Wright of Derby.
National Gallery, London.
This summer 2019 saw the launch of our ground-breaking conservation and research project focused around the Collection’s eight masterpieces by Jean-Honoré Fragonard.
Fragonard’s iconic painting is one of the most emblematic images of 18th-century French art. A young woman wearing a lovely pink silk frock is tantalisingly positioned mid-air on a swing between her elderly husband on the right and her young lover on the left. The force of the swing caused one of her slippers to fly off, resulting in a privileged view for her lover whose delight is suggested by the symbolic offer of his hat.