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Gallery Text

Fragonard was one of the last great exponents of the French rococo style. Painted after the successful reception of his Coresus and Callirhoe at the Salon of 1765, this composition emerged after Fragonard’s transition away from grand mythological paintings toward small-scale portraits and informal genre scenes. Paintings like this one, whose loose brushstrokes accentuate the transience of the figure’s sensuous and propositional pose, catered to the tastes of private patrons and Parisian art collectors.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Jean-Honoré Fragonard, French (Grasse 1732 - 1806 Paris)
Young Woman with Brown Hair
Other Titles
Original Language Title: La Jeune Fille Brune
Former Title: The Dark Girl
Work Type
c. 1768-1770
Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2220, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, Rococo and Neoclassicism in the Eighteenth Century
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Physical Descriptions
Oil on canvas
46.7 x 39.1 cm (18 3/8 x 15 3/8 in.)
framed: 67.3 x 58.4 x 19.7 cm (26 1/2 x 23 x 7 3/4 in.)
Probably Jean Baptiste Pierre LeBrun, Paris, sold [through his sale, commissaire-expert Al. Paillet, Paris, May 23, 1814, lot 46]. Mme Devisme (née Alexandrine-Prospère Pigalle), sold [through Hotel Drouot, commissaire-priseur Paul Chevallier, March 17, 1888, lot 13]; to Jacques Doucet, Paris, sold [through his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, commissaires-priseurs F. Lair-Dubreuil and Henri Baudoin, June 6, 1912, lot 150], sold; to Hector G. Beéche, esq., Paris, sold [through Christie, Manson & Woods, London, July 2, 1937, lot 65]; to Pearson. Sold [through anonymous sale, March 9, 1945, lot 14]. Charles E. Dunlap, by descent; to Phyllis H. Dunlap, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1975.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Phyllis H. Dunlap
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Catalogue d'une collection de tableaux capitaux...provenant du cabinet de feu J. B. P. LeBrun, auct. cat. (Paris, May 23, 1814), Probably lot 46

Catalogue de diverses oeuvres de J. B. Pigalle..., Hôtel Drouot (Paris, March 17, 1888), p. 13, lot 39

Baron Roger Portalis, Honoré Fragonard, sa vie et son oeuvre, J. Rothschild (Paris, 1889), Vol. I, p. 135; Vol. II, p. 290, repr.

Virgile Josz, Fragonard: moeurs du XVIIIe siècle, Société du Mercure de France (Paris, 1901), p. 226

Collection Jacques Doucet: Catalogue des sculptures & tableaux du XVIIIe siècle, auct. cat., Galerie Georges Petit (Paris, June 6, 1912), p. 50, lot 150, repr.

Georges Wildenstein, Exposition d’œuvres de J.-H. Fragonard, exh. cat., Presses de Frazier-Soye (Paris, 1921), cat. no. 57, p. 28, repr.

Catalogue of Important Pictures by Old Masters..., auct. cat., Christie, Manson and Woods, Ltd. (London, July 2, 1937), p. 27, lot 65, repr.

Liliane Guerry-Brion, Fragonard, Electa Editrice (Milan, 1952), no. 53, repr.

Georges Wildenstein, The Paintings of Fragonard, Phaidon (London, 1960), p. 306, no. 484, repr. as plate 109

Harry D.M. Grier, ed., The Frick Collection: An Illustrated Catalogue, Princeton University Press (Princeton, 1968-2003)

Fragonard [Furagonaru Ten], exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, Japan, 1980), cat. no. 79, repr.

Jean-Pierre Cuzin, Jean-Honoré Fragonard: Vie et Oeuvre, Catalogue complet des peintures, Office du Livre (Switzerland, 1987), pp. 125-127, 302, repr.

Pierre Rosenberg, Tout l'oeuvre peint de Fragonard, Flammarion (Paris, 1989), pp. 95-96, no. 223, repr. p. 96

Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990)

Eunice Williams, "Gens, Honorez Fragonard!": Works from the Collections of Harvard University and Harvard Friends, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, 1993), checklist no.10, repr.

Alvin L. Clark, Jr., "To Delight the Eye": French Drawings and Paintings from the Collection of Charles E. Dunlap, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, 2005), checklist no. 3, p. 11

Exhibition History

Exposition d’œuvres de J.-H. Fragonard, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, 06/07/1921 - 07/10/1921

Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977

Fragonard, The National Museum of Western Art, 03/18/1980 - 05/11/1980; Municipal Museum of Kyoto, 05/24/1980 - 06/29/1980

“Gens, Honorez Fragonard!”: Works from the Collection of Harvard University and Harvard Friends, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/15/1993 - 07/11/1993

"To Delight the Eye": French Drawings and Paintings from the Collection of Charles E. Dunlap, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 12/17/2005 - 03/12/2006

32Q: 2220 18th-19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

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