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
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
Shown in 7 exhibitions
Chardin et Fragonard, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1907–1907
The James Fairfax collection of old masters, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Apr 1992–14 Jun 1992
Great gifts, great patrons, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Aug 1994–19 Oct 1994
Forest and field: from Claude to the Barbizon School, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 14 Jul 1995–17 Sep 1995
The James Fairfax collection of old master paintings, drawings and prints, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Apr 2003–20 Jul 2003
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 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
Renée Free, Forest and field: from Claude to the Barbizon School, 'Rococo landscape', pg. 2-3, Sydney, 1995, p 3, p 6.
Renée Free, AGNSW Collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pg. 108-172, Sydney, 1994, col illus p 123.
Gazette des Beaux-Arts, period 6, vol 123, year 136, 'Chronique des Arts' suppliment, Unknown, Mar 1994, illus p 34. no 145
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 1994, Sydney, 1994, p 44.
Art Gallery of New South Wales, The James Fairfax collection of old masters, Sydney, 1992. no catalogue numbers
Jean-Honore´ Fragonard: life and work: complete catalogue of the oil paintings, New York, 1988, p 252. note 6
Fragonard, Paris, 1987, pp 159-160, illus p 160. figure 1, as whereabouts unknown
Fragonard, 1980. under no 37
L'oeuvre dessine´ de Jean-Honore´ Fragonard (1732-1806), Paris, 1961-1970, vol 3, 1968. cat no 1702, fig 435
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.
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
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Great gifts, great patrons: an exhibition celebrating private patronage of the Gallery, Sydney, 1994. no catalogue numbers