Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)
“L'Armoire” (The wardrobe), 1778, published by Thomas-Charles Naudet (fl.1778–1829). Proof impression (possibly a late impression based on the type of paper) without the lettered title, “L'Armoire.”
Etching on wove paper.
Size: (sheet) 43.8 x 58.6 cm; (plate) 39.5 x 48.8 cm; (image borderline) 33.5 x 46.2 cm.
Inscribed on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Fragonard 1778 sculp. invenit”; (right) “A Paris, chez Naudet M d’Estampes Port au Bled”.
State ii/iii? (of iv) Wildenstein (1956) does not describe a state showing the publisher’s details without the lettered title. Nevertheless, state iii shows the publisher’s name and state ii does not show the publisher’s name. (The Rijksmuseum holds an impression of the third state with the lettered title: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.collect.112448.)
Wildenstein 23 (Georges Wildenstein 1956, “Études et documents pour servir à l'histoire de l'art français du dix-huitième siècles: Fragonard Aquafortiste”, Paris, Les Beaux-Arts Edition D’Etudes et de Documents, p. 32; illus. p. 33); Baudicour 2 (Pr. de Baudicour 1859–1861, “Le peintre-graveur français continué ou catalogue raisonné des estampes gravées par les peintres et les dessinateurs de l'école française nés dans le XVIIIe siècle, ouvrage faisant suite au peintre-graveur français de Robert Dumesnil”, vol. 1, Paris, p. 159, cat. no. 2); IFF 22 (Département des Estampes 1930–, “Inventaire du Fonds Français: Graveurs du Dix-Huitième Siècle”, vol. 9, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, pp. 289–290, cat. no. 22).
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“A couple opening a wardrobe and furious to find their daughter's lover inside; the young woman is crying on the left, while a nosey crowd is watching the scene on the right. 1778 Etching”
The Rijksmuseum offers the following insights about this print:
“Fragonard is renowned for his gallant scenes – often explicit – peppered with a lively sense of humour. In a vaudevillian way, he represents here this young woman’s parents, furious upon discovering her lover hidden in the cupboard. The unmade bed, the youth’s forlorn look and his strategically held hat betray their interrupted sexual encounter.”
See also the description of this print at Sotheby’s:
Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with generous margins. The lower right margin has a large restored tear penetrating the image, but there are no folds, holes, significant stains or foxing.
I am selling this large masterpiece of etching executed by one of the most famous artists of the French Rococo period, for AU$412 (currently US$308.35/EUR254.97/GBP231.72 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.
If you are interested in purchasing this amazing scene of domestic drama—note the errant youth’s ad hoc hat-rack and (what is more interesting to me) the piece of wood at his foot that symbolically protrudes out into space revealing Fragonard’s understanding of the important principle of this teacher, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, to suspend objects over corner edges—please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold