Ruins of an Imperial Palace, Rome

Object Details

Title:

Ruins of an Imperial Palace, Rome

Artist/Maker(s):

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732 - 1806)

Culture:

French

Place(s):

Rome, Italy (Place depicted)

Date:

1759

Medium:

Red chalk on cream-colored paper

Dimensions:

33.5 x 47.6 cm (13 3/16 x 18 3/4 in.)

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As a student at the Académie de France in Rome, Jean-Honoré Fragonard was encouraged to sketch Roman sites in the open air. In this view of the Palatine Hill's northeast corner, a site also sketched by his friend Hubert Robert and by François Boucher, Fragonard created a powerful visual momentum by coordinating the forward thrust of the corner of the palace, the brilliant sunlight, and the towering cypresses. The dynamic, plunging perspective of walls and trees and the intense light infuse the massive architecture with life.

Fragonard masterfully used both chalk and paper to create the overall effect and the varied small passages. Overall, he worked the red chalk lightly yet broadly, allowing the white of the paper to come through even in areas of deepest shading. His controlled exposure of the paper's whiteness, the constant shift of direction and character in his shading strokes, and his inventive calligraphy describe sunlight, shadow, and texture in diverse ways.

Provenance
November 16, 1942

Anonymous, Nice, lot 75

May 28, 1954

Galerie Charpentier, Paris, lot 69

June 10, 1956

Galerie Fischer, Lucerne, lot 10

December 3, 1988

Galerie Pierre-Yves Gabus, Geneva, lot 129

Exhibitions
European Landscape Drawings of the 15th through 19th Century (October 6 to December 13, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), October 6 to December 13, 1992
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (104)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Drawn Toward Nature: Landscapes and Gardens in Ancién-Regime France (June 13 to August 27, 1995) (104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), June 13 to August 27, 1995
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998) (104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998
Red Chalk Drawings (March 16 to May 30, 1999) (104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 16 to May 30, 1999
Carmontelle's Transparency: An 18th Century Motion Picture (2000) (March 14 to May 28, 2000) (104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 14 to May 28, 2000
Drawing the Landscape: 1500 - 1800 (January 23 to April 15, 2001) (104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), January 23 to April 15, 2001
Drawing Italy in the Age of the Grand Tour (February 5 to May 12, 2002) (104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 5 to May 12, 2002
Carmontelle's Transparency: An 18th Century Motion Picture (March 14 to June 18, 2006) (104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 14 to June 18, 2006
Consuming Passion: Fragonard's Allegories of Love (October 28, 2007 to May 4, 2008) (104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 12 to May 4, 2008
Capturing Nature's Beauty: Three Centuries of French Landscapes (July 28 to November 1, 2009) (104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 28 to November 1, 2009
Rococo to Revolution: Eighteenth-Century French Drawings from Los Angeles Collections (July 1 to September 21, 2014) (104)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 1 to September 21, 2014