Peek Into Fragonard’s Gardens of Love on December 2 at the Clark

For Immediate Release

November 19, 2007

“Fragonard and the Garden of Love” will heat up the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Sunday, December 2. During this free lecture held at 2 pm, the Clark’s senior curator Richard Rand will discuss Jean-Honoré Fragonard's paintings and drawings of picturesque gardens, lush environments for flirtation, courtship, and love in eighteenth-century France.

With shadowy garden groves and overflowing fountains, moonlit statues, and rich foliage, Fragonard’s paintings and drawings personified the new ideas of all-encompassing romantic love that emerged in the middle of the eighteenth century. Classically draped figures rush toward fountains of love, place roses on altars, or confess their love before a statue of Cupid. These new ideas of passionate abandon, endless love, the consummation of desire, and the loss of virginity were represented in dark and mysterious garden environments.

Fragonard, known as a painter of playful genre subjects, garden landscapes, and fantasy portraits, turned later in his career to the subject of romantic love. Consuming Passion: Fragonard’s Allegories of Love on view through January 21, 2008 focuses on Fragonard’s work during the 1780s and 1790s when he created a series of dramatic reflections on the subject of romantic allegories. This exhibition explores these mysteries and evocative works in a variety of themes: oil painting, drawings, prints, and illustrated books. Consuming Passion has been organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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