where is the painting the swing

Where is the painting the swing
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.
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.

Where is the painting the swing
What kind of lifestyle did the aristocracy lead during this period? Remember that the aristocracy had enormous political power as well as enormous wealth. Many chose leisure as a pursuit and became involved themselves in romantic intrigues. Indeed, they created a culture of luxury and excess that formed a stark contrast to the lives of most people in France. The aristocracy, only a small percentage of the population of France, owned over 90% of its wealth. A small, but growing middle class does not sit still with this for long (remember the French Revolution of 1789).
As with most Rococo paintings, the subject of Fragonard’s The Swing is not very complicated! Two lovers have conspired to get this older fellow to push the youg lady in the swing while her lover hides in the bushes. Their idea is that as she goes up in the swing, she can part her legs, and he can get a perfect view up her skirt.

Where is the painting the swing
Jean- Honoré Fragonard’s The Swing was essentially a commission passed to him by another painter Gabriel-François Doyen. The painting’s storyline and composition was proposed to Doyen by a gentleman of the court, who wanted a painting of him and his mistress. The exact identity of the patron is unknown, though he was at one time thought to have been the Baron de Saint-Julien, the Receiver General of the French Clergy, which would have explained the request to include a bishop pushing the swing. Gabriel Doyen refused the commission and instead passed it on to Fragonard who removed any references to specific people but kept the concept of the original proposal.
So here we have a young girl on the swing flying carelessly through the air, pushed from behind by an old man. Her right slipper flies, oh so conveniently, off her foot and suddenly the young man, lounging in the low bush, enjoying the view above him, comes into view. In fact, he is looking right up her frothy pink and cream skirt! So you see, it is a conspiracy of the two lovers whose flirtatious little game goes not only unnoticed by the old man, but where he is in fact an active participant in this concealed peep show. Furthermore, the painting is filled with symbolism. In the 18th century France, a woman’s shoeless foot symbolized nudity, as did the man’s uncovered head and his hat, reaching towards the young girl’s parted legs. “Dolphins driven by cupids drawing the water-chariot of Venus symbolize the impatient surge of love.”*

Where is the painting the swing

  • One copy, once owned by Edmond James de Rothschild, [7] portrays the woman in a blue dress. [8]
  • The other is a smaller version (56 × 46 cm), owned by Duke Jules de Polignac. [7] This painting became the property of the Grimaldi family in 1930 when Pierre de Polignac (1895-1964) married Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois (1898-1977). In 1966, the Grimaldi & Labeyrie Collection gave it to the city of Versailles, where it is currently exhibited at the Musée Lambinet, attributed to Fragonard’s workshop. [9]

There are two notable copies, neither by Fragonard.

Where is the painting the swing
Oil on canvas – Collection of MusГ©e du Louvre, Paris, France
Oil on canvas – Collection of MusГ©e du Louvre, Paris, France

References:

http://courses.lumenlearning.com/zeliart102/chapter/fragonards-the-swing/
http://galleryintell.com/artex/the-swing-by-jean-honore-fragonard/
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Swing_(painting)
http://m.theartstory.org/artist/fragonard-jean-honore/artworks/
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/famous-paintings/swing-fragonard.htm

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