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The Warrior, c. 1770.
The Warrior
c. 1770
Oil on canvas
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts
Fragonard was a brilliant manipulator of paint. His so-called "fantasy-portraits" were said to have taken only an hour to complete. Like the other paintings in the series, The Warrior may or may not be a portrait of a real person; the fanciful costume and swaggering pose suggest a theatrical character, a type rather than a recognizable individual. It is actually the painter—as revealed in the astonishing play of the brush—who is foremost on display.

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