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Fragonard was one of the major painters in 18th century France, and he was renowned for his genre scenes and decorative paintings filled with the light loveliness of Rococo sweetness. At the same time, he is also known to have created a number of beautiful landscape scenes based on his acute observation of nature and its moods. This painting is one such landscape work, based on the Italian scenery he had enjoyed during his four year sojourn in Italy begun in 1761. In addition to the Italianate quality, he also included some elements from Dutch landscape painting, a trend just beginning in French painting. The clear light that breaks through the cloudy sky to illuminate the scene is a sign of the direct influence of northern landscape painters such as Van Ruysdael, while the shape of animals and the mountains seen in the far distance, and the genre scene poses of human figures all suggest lessons learned by the painter in Italy. The cloudy sky that occupies three quarters of the composition forms the background for the low foreground with its scene of cows, horses, and a shepherd and his flock. The midground area is filled with a small steep hillock and large trees silhouetted against the sky, thus clearly setting off the foreground scenery from the sky. During his later years Fragonard gradually began to fuse landscape settings with specific mythological or genre scene subjects, breaking new ground in the genre. However, in this work, thought to have been created soon after his return from Italy, he was still focused on the creation of a pure landscape painting scene. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no.52)

Details

  • Title: Landscape with Shepherds and Flock of Sheep
  • Date Created: c. 1763-65
  • Location Created: France
  • Provenance: Paris, Vente, 15 novembre 1779, lot 35 (?); Paris, Vent, Saint, 4 mai 1846, lot, 75 (?); Paris, Vente Mme D., 13 novembre 1860, lot 10 bis; Camille Marcille, Paris (son cachet est apposé au dos de la toile, Lugt 605a); Paris Vante [Marquis d'Ivry], 31 mars 1914, lot 60; Louis Renault, Paris; Coll. Didier Aaron & Cie.
  • Physical Dimensions: w730 x h520 mm
  • Painter: Jean-Honoré Fragonard
  • Object title (Japanese): 丘を下る羊の群
  • Object notes (Japanese): 18世紀フランスを代表する画家の一人フラゴナールは、その軽快で華やかなロココ風の甘美な風俗画や装飾画によって名高いが、同時に、真撃な自然観察を通した爽やかな風景画も多く手がけていたことで知られる。ここに掲げた作品もそうしたもののひとつで、フラゴナールが1761年から4年間のローマ留学を果たした際に見たイタリアの風景をもとに、当時流行し始めていたオランダ風景画の要素を巧みに取り入れた画面となっている。雲間から漏れる精妙な光の効果はまさにロイスダールなど北方の風景画家たちの直接の影響を示すが、はるかに山を望む地形や動物、人物などの風俗的描写は画家がイタリアから学んだものであろう。画面の四分の三を占める雲の多い空を背景に、低くとった前景には牛や馬、あるいは羊の群れに添景人物を配している。また、その間の中景は小高い丘と大きな灌木をシルエットとして用い、それらを空にくっきりと浮き立たせている。フラゴナールの後期作品においては、風景と特定の神話・風俗主題の融合がいっそう進み、新境地を開拓してゆくが、イタリアから戻って間もない時期に描かれたと思われるこの作品では、未だ純粋な風景画の要素が勝っていると言えるだろう。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 52)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): フラゴナール、ジャン=オノレ
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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