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Fragonard: The Fantasy Figures at the National Gallery

October 8 - December 3, 2017
National Gallery of Art - West Building

Combining art, fashion, science and conservation, this revelatory exhibition brings together - for the first time- some 14 of the paintings known as the fantasy figures by Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806). He is considered among the most characheristic and important French painters of his era, and the fantasy figures series -several rapidly executed, brightly colored paintings of lavishly costumed individuals- are some of his most beloved works.

The subjects are depicted posed at leisure or employed in various pursuits, such as acting, reading, writing, playing instruments or singing. Wearing extravagant attire, these figures are dressed in what was known in 18th-century France as à l'espagnole (Spanish style) - plumed hats, slashed sleeves, ribbons, rosettes, ruffs, capes and accents of reds and black.

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.