Unique Summer Viewing Opportunity Famed Fragonard Panels Placed in Skylit Illumination of East Gallery during Gallery Relighting and Refurbishment of Fragonard Room

photo of gallery with painting and sculpture of nude huntress carrying bow
For the first time since their arrival at the Frick mansion in 1915, the principal panels of JeanHonoré Fragonard’s Progress of Love series can be seen in dramatically different, partly-skylit illumination and outside of their long-standing gallery installation.  These monumental works are a major attraction at the museum, and they have been temporarily placed on view in the East Gallery while the Fragonard Room undergoes its first major relighting and refurbishment in seventy-five years.  The six panels currently on view in the East Gallery are accompanied by a remarkable set of seating furniture carved by one of the most important chairmakers of the eighteenth century, Nicolas Heurtaut (1720–1771).  Not often on view, these four chairs and two canapés still bear their original Beauvais tapestry upholstery, the designs of which are after Oudry and Boucher.  The frames and tapestries have been traced back to their creation in the 1760s for a client named Francois de Bussy, a career diplomat serving the French royal court.  The panels are joined by two very important commodes–highlights from the Frick’s furniture collection– that are customarily on view in the Fragonard Room.  On the south wall stands a neoclassical mahogany veneered example by French Royal furniture maker Jean-Henri Riesener (1734–1806), an exact contemporary of Fragonard who was in great favor with Marie-Antoinette through the abolition of the monarchy (examples of his work for her can be found nearby in the South Hall of the Frick).   The collaborative brilliance of royal ébénistes Gilles Joubert (1689–1775) and Roger Lacroix (1728–1799) is in evidence on the north wall of the East Gallery in the form of a commode created in 1769 for Madame Victoire, fourth daughter of Louis XV.  Considered one of the finest in existence, it is a beautiful example of transitional furniture, displaying rococo features through its curvilinear form–a serpentine front and cabriole legs–and the forward-looking neoclassicism of its magnificent marquetry and gilt-bronze mounts.       


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