Object Image

Ruins of an Imperial Palace, Rome

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 ...

Red chalk on cream-colored paper
33.5 x 47.6cm

Where you'll find this

The Getty Center
Permanent collection