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An image of The swing by Nicolas de Launay, after Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Nicolas de Launay

(France 1739 – 1792)

after Jean-Honoré Fragonard

(France 1732 – 1806)

The swing
Alternative title:
Les hazards heureux de l’escarpolette
Media category
Materials used
etching and engraving
iv of 5 states

59.4 x 44.4 cm trimmed to platemark

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased 2012
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

The engraving by Nicolas de Launay after Fragonard’s ‘Swing’ reproduces (in reverse to the painting in the Wallace Collection London) one of the iconic images of 18th-century art, epitomizing the artifice and light-hearted eroticism of the late Rococo style. The main difference between the painting and engraving is the addition of plumes in the hat of the girl.
De Launay published the print himself, advertising it in the ‘Gazette de France’ on 2 April 1782. He dedicated it personally to Fragonard, calling himself Fragonard’s “very humble and very obedient servant”. Other inscriptions below the image specify the title, the painter, the engraver and the address of De Launay as the publisher. The lively vignette below the image bearing Fragonard’s initials was designed by Pierre-Philippe Choffard.

Bibliography (3)

Victor I Carlson and John W Ittmann, Regency to Empire. French printmaking 1715-1814, 1984, 254 (illus.). no.88

M Hebert, E Pognon and Y Bruand, Inventaire du fonds français XVIII siècle, Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Estampes, Paris, 1968. no.223

Kristin L Spangenberg (Editor), Six Centuries of Master Prints. Treasures from the Herbert Greer French Collection, United States of America, 1993, 227. no.110

Exhibition history (1)

European prints and drawings 1500-1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 2014–02 Nov 2014