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Western art

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Rinaldo in the gardens of Armida



Jean-Honoré Fragonard


1732 - 1806


Fragonard spent almost six years in Italy and this drawing takes as its subject an episode from the Italian writer Tasso's epic 'Jerusalem delivered'. Having fallen in love with the Christian warrior Rinaldo, Armida entices him into her enchanted garden to prevent him returning to the war. Lully's opera 'Armide' was performed in Paris in 1761, and this perhaps partly inspired Fragonard. It is not certain whether this drawing - and its pendant 'Rinaldo in the enchanted forest' - were done before or after the two oil paintings of the same composition. This wash drawing gives the effect of a painting. Fragonard was the typical Rococo painter of lighthearted and gallant subjects during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. The French Revolution put an end to his patrons and Fragonard died almost forgotten.

Peter Raissis, Prints & drawings Europe 1500–1900, 2014




Media category


Materials used

brush and brown ink over black chalk underdrawing


35.5 x 46.3 cm sheet; 65.0 x 74.6 x 3.5 cm frame

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of James Fairfax AC 1993


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Works in the collection


Shown in 7 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 14 publications


A. Ananoff, The Connoisseur, 'Drawings by J.H. Fragonard for "Jerusalem Delivered"', pg.12-16, London, Jan 1968, illus p 13. figure 4

Alexandre Ananoff, L'oeuvre dessine´ de Jean-Honore´ Fragonard (1732-1806), Paris, 1961-1970, vol 3, 1968. cat no 1702, fig 435

Art Gallery of New South Wales, The James Fairfax collection of old masters, Sydney, 1992. no catalogue numbers

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Great gifts, great patrons: an exhibition celebrating private patronage of the Gallery, Sydney, 1994. no catalogue numbers

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 1994, Sydney, 1994, p 44.

Richard Beresford and Peter Raissis, The James Fairfax collection of old master paintings, drawings and prints, Sydney, 2003, col illus p 7, pp 84-87, col illus p 85. cat no 22, illustration on page 7 is a detail

Jean-Pierre Cuzin, Jean-Honore´ Fragonard: life and work: complete catalogue of the oil paintings, New York, 1988, p 252. note 6

Renée Free, AGNSW Collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pg. 108-172, Sydney, 1994, col illus p 123.

Renée Free, Forest and field: from Claude to the Barbizon School, 'Rococo landscape', pg. 2-3, Sydney, 1995, p 3, p 6.

Galerie Georges Petit, Chardin et Fragonard, Paris, 1907, p 12. cat no 162

Peter Raissis, Prints & drawings Europe 1500-1900, Sydney, 2014, col illus pp 88-89, p 90, coll illus p 91.

Pierre Rosenberg, Fragonard, Paris, 1987, pp 159-160, illus p 160. figure 1, as whereabouts unknown

Denys Sutton, Fragonard, 1980. under no 37

Editor Unknown (Editor), Gazette des Beaux-Arts, period 6, vol 123, year 136, 'Chronique des Arts' suppliment, Unknown, Mar 1994, illus p 34. no 145