Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806), Young Girl Seated, 1785
Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806), Young Girl Seated, 1785, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Young Girl Seated

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

This wistful young girl has at times been identified as the artist’s daughter Rosalie (1769-1788). The traditional title, La Resignée (The Resigned One), seems particularly poignant in light of Rosalie’s death at a very young age 

The drawing showcases Fragonard’s remarkable use of red chalk, which was very much admired and praised by the nineteenth-century Goncourt brothers, writers and avid collectors of French eighteenth-century drawings. Vigorous strokes, visible in the sitter’s bodice, as well as softer, less distinct lines of the slipping shawl, exemplify Fragonard’s extraordinary dexterity with the handling of the medium. 

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