Jean-Honoré Fragonard: The Happy Accidents of the Swing (1767)

(Wallace Collection, London, United Kingdom)

A painting by the French artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732 - 1806). According to the memoirs of the French writer Charles Collé (1709-1783) this painting was commissioned by an unknown ‘gentleman of the Court’ to paint his mistress on a swing, pushed by a bishop with himself admiring her legs from below. The patron first asked the French artist Gabriel François Doyen to produce this painting but Doyen refused and passed on the commission to Fragonard. Fragonard accepted but changed the bishop to a layman. The girl on the swing sees the man who is looking underneath her dress and kicks one of her shoes to the statue of a putto above him. Painting from 1767.