Sometime in 1926, Helen Clay Frick, daughter
of industrialist and art collector Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919), commissioned Gay to paint a view of
the famous Fragonard Room at her family’s New York residence. By the time he began painting this first of three interior views of the Frick residence at
1 East 70th Street (cats. 2, 3, right), Gay was 70 years old and an elder statesman of painting. Originally painted for Louis XV’s mistress, Madame du Barry, the panels depicting The Progress of Love are considered the greatest achievement of French Rococo artist
Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806).