Quick drawings could serve a variety of purposes, and it is not always clear today why an artist created a particular sketch. This one may record a painting Fragonard saw during a journey to Italy, or capture an idea he was considering for a painting of his own. Orpheus, identified by the lute, grasps for his love Eurydice as she is pulled down into Hades. The snarling animals near his feet may represent Cerberus, the multiheaded guard dog of the underworld.

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  • Title: Orpheus and Eurydice (recto)
  • Creator: Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732-1806)
  • Date Created: c. 1761
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 28.9 x 22.7 cm (11 3/8 x 8 15/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Ex collection: [Lucien Goldschmidt, New York, 1980], Aware of the Cleveland Museum of Art's fine collection of Italian and French drawings, Joseph McCrindle has given five sheets, five Italian and one French, to the CMA. Please see no. 1 for ex collections.
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/2009.152.a
  • Medium: black chalk
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: France, 18th century
  • Credit Line: Gift of Joseph F. McCrindle
  • Collection: DR - French
  • Accession Number: 2009.152.a

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