Poetry & Passion

[Translate to English:] 3-Spalter 1


Poetry & Passion

30.11.2013 – 23.2.2014

„You could say that the drawings are the diary of his imagination.“
Edmond und Jules de Goncourt 1865


The work of Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) is the embodiment of elegance and expressiveness. The French artist was one of the outstanding masters of the 18th century, and yet his name is relatively unfamiliar to many in Germany today.


Born in Grasse, Fragonard spent most of his life in Paris, where he was a pupil of François Boucher. Despite initial successes in the Paris Salon exhibition, he embarked on a path outside the Academy and found his main audience among wealthy private collectors.

First monographic exhibition in Germany of Fragonard's work

The Karlsruhe exhibition principally features a selection of Fragonard’s drawings, enriched by several oil studies and paintings. With some 80 works in all, the display gives an insight into the dazzling versatility of an oeuvre that includes scenes of cheerful social gatherings, landscapes, narrative scenes, and intimate depictions of great sensuality. The exhibition captures and reflects the artist’s delight in experimentation, his vitality of imagination, and boldness in formal composition. In the same breath, Fragonard demonstrates both how firmly rooted he was in the artistic tradition of the 17th century and his skill in being able to vary and reinterpret the repertoire of forms and subjects of that tradition. Through his handling of chalk and brush, he created compositions of sparkling imagination and great passion.

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the generous support of international lenders, including the Louvre in Paris, the Albertina in Vienna, the British Museum in London, and the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, as well as several private collectors.

[Translate to English:] 2-Spalter 1