Orlando Furioso: Atlante, mounted on the hippogryph, swoops down upon Bradamante
1732 - 1806
In the 1780s Fragonard made a series of over 100 lively drawings inspired by Ariosto’s epic, 'Orlando Furioso'. First published in 1516, the fantastic poem relates the struggles between the Christians and the pagans. Unfortunately there is no 18th-century documentation to tell us why Fragonard undertook such an ambitious project. In the 19th century the drawings belonged to the great Fragonard collector, Hippolyte Walferdin, who purchased them from the artist's family. The series was kept intact until 1922.
black chalk and brown wash
39.5 x 25.3 cm sheet (irreg.)
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Old Europe: Prints & drawings from the collection 1500-1800, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jun 2006–06 Aug 2006
European prints and drawings 1500-1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 2014–02 Nov 2014
Referenced in 4 publications
Dore Ashton, Fragonard in the universe of painting, Washington D.C., 1988, 211, 215 (illus.). fig. 61
Edmund Capon and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a Gallery, 'Prints & Drawings', pg. 115-122, Sydney, 1984, 118 (colour illus.).
Nicolas Draffin, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Prints & Drawings', pg. 109-124, Sydney, 1988, 113 (colour illus.).
Elizabeth Mongan, Philip Hofer and Jean Seznec, Fragonard drawings for Ariosto, New York, circa 1945, (illus.) 63. plate 19