Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)
Young Girl Seated
1785
Red chalk
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

The subject of this drawing is most probably Fragonard's sixteen-year-old daughter, Rosalie, who died three years later in 1788. Fragonard has allowed the irregularities of the chalk to dictate the quality of his marks, from the vigorous strokes in the sitter's bodice to the softer, less distinct lines of her slipping shawl. The drawing is signed and dated "frago.1785" at lower left; the date was read incorrectly as "1765" when the decorative cartouche was added by a later owner.