Jean-Honoré Fragonard: The Swing

After the death of Louis XIV in 1715, French high society became dominated by aristocrats who not only exercised their traditional privileges by also sought to expand their powers. Aristocrats became the main patrons of art and this is reflected in the new Rococo style that emerged.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Swing, 1766

In Fragonard’s The Swing, a bishop swings an elegantly dressed young lady, the sweetheart of the young man in the corner (who is the painting’s patron). She boldly and flirtatiously kicks off her shoe. The young man in the lower left corner is in a strategic position to admire her while she is high up on a swing. The little statue of Cupid holds his finger to his lips. The whole scene takes place in the setting of a bower in a park in beautiful and soft pastel colors. This painting epitomizes the Rococo style, with is pastel colors, sensuality, and its frills.

I really enjoy the artistic skills of Fragonard. His ability to depict clouds, fabric, and foliage in such a naturalistic manner is very impressive. Also, I think the colors he chose form a good cohesive unit. The Swing is a very famous paintings and I have seen many replicas and spinoffs of it. Which reminds me…

The other day, I was watching Frozen and look what I found…!

Scene from Disney’s Frozen when Anna is singing “For the First Time in Forever”

In one of the early scenes in the movie, as Anna sings For the First Time in Forever, she passes by and tries to “match” several paintings on the wall in the castle. I was so thrilled that the creators of the movie chose to use real paintings instead of made-up ones!

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