Jean-Honor Fragonard
Grasse 1732-1806 Paris
A Lute player with Female figures lying on the Ground and Putti cavorting, after Marcantonio Franceschini

Black chalk counterproof, inscribed in pencil

195 x 255 mm. (7 3/4 x 10 in.)


Our drawing is number 355 in Rosenbergs revised edition of the Panopticon and is after a painting by Macantonio Franceshini Ninfe che contemplano un pastorello which was in the Odeschalchi Palace. The drawing is in the BM and the print is in the BNF. This counterproof relates to Fragonards Panopticon project. In 1761, after a period spent in Rome, Fragonard returned to Paris in the company of the Abb de Saint-Non, a connoisseur, writer and amateur printmaker. En route, Fragonard drew copies of three hundred Old Master paintings which they had seen, probably because the Abb hoped to write a guide to the cities they had visited, which could then be illustrated with Fragonard's copies (Rosenberg, Fragonard, exhib. cat., Paris, Grand Palais and New York, Metropolitan Museum, 1987-8., 1987-8). Although this ambition never came to fruition, Fragonard executed etchings after sixteen of his drawings, presumably those which he felt were most accomplished and commercial. A drawing from this series recently sold at Christies South Kensington, 9 July 2009, lot 621.