Making Fritters (Les Beignets)

Object Details

Title:

Making Fritters (Les Beignets)

Artist/Maker(s):

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732 - 1806)

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1782

Medium:

Brush and brown ink over graphite

Dimensions:

24.6 x 37.5 cm (9 11/16 x 14 3/4 in.)

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One of the greatest draftsmen of all time, Fragonard is most famous for wash drawings such as this one. The frenzied joy of the scene, with its roaring fire and roiling mound of forms and faces, is matched by the surging energy with which he applied the media.

Fragonard began with a flurry of rapid-fire graphite lines that map out the complex, multi-figured composition. In a second attack, he loaded his brush with numerous gradations of warm brown wash. A third vital component is his use of the white paper (called the reserve) for the highest lights. The three elements of the graphite, the wash, and the paper interact dynamically to create a sense of evanescent movement and enveloping atmosphere.

Exhibitions
Recent Acquisitions in Context (March 6 to May 27, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 6 to May 27, 2012
The Poetry of Paper (July 23 to October 20, 2013)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 23 to October 20, 2013
Rococo to Revolution: Eighteenth-Century French Drawings from Los Angeles Collections (July 1 to September 21, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 1 to September 21, 2014