This richly illustrated volume reveals the intriguing story behind the commission, rejection, and rehousing of Jean- Hore Fragonard's Progress of Love, a series of 14 paintings considered by many to be the artist's masterpiece. Fragonard (1732-1806) completed four large canvases for the comtesse du Barry's pavilion at Louveciennes, but they were replaced and returned to the artist. In 1790 Fragonard moved them to his cousin's house in Grasse, and over the course of the year painted two further large-scale works and 10 additional panels. With 140 colour images of the Fragonard paintings, details, shots of the room, plans, original sketches, and other comparative images, author Colin Bailey explores the commission of the four main panels, their original arrangement at Louveciennes and the possible reasons for their rejection. Equally enthralling is the history of how the paintings were rediscovered in the late 19th century and how they eventually came to The Frick Collection.
Colin B. Bailey is Associate Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator at The Frick Collection, New York. Recent publications include Watteau to Degas: French Drawings from the Frits Lugt Collection (2009); Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (1724-1780) (2007); and The Age of Watteau, Chardin and Fragonard: Masterpieces of 18th-century French Genre Painting (2003).