The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of October 26, 2016

Invocation to Love, c. 1781

Brush and brown ink with graphite squaring lines and underdrawing on cream laid paper, Sheet: 33.50 x 41.60 cm (13 3/16 x 16 3/8 inches); Secondary Support: 37.60 x 47.80 cm (14 3/4 x 18 13/16 inches). Grace Rainey Rogers Fund 1943.657

Set in a lush garden, this allegory focuses on a woman pleading for help from a statue of Eros. His blindfold alludes to the uncertain outcome of her affair, while the indifferent putto leaning on an orb suggests this woman is not the first to make a desperate appeal to the god of Love. Details like the antique statuary, the woman’s Roman sandals, and her position parallel to the picture plane (much like depictions on ancient sculptural reliefs) reflect Neoclassical style. However, Fragonard’s portrayal of the woman’s feelings through her pose and the billowing robes anticipates Romanticism, a late 18th-century artistic and literary movement that celebrated emotion as a source of aesthetic experience.

secondary support, lower right, in graphite: 62 [L?]3; verso of secondary support, center left, in graphite: Salon

Montreal 1950, 15, no. 73; cma 1958-59; Rotterdam et al. 1958-60, 54, no. 51, pl. 60 [no. 51, pl. 67, French ed; 53-54, no. 51, pl. 60, English ed.]; cma 1959-60a; cma 1961a; Los Angeles 1961, 60, no. 46; Toronto et al. 1972-73, 159-60, no. 50; Providence 1975, 174-75, no. 56 (repr.); Washington et al. 1978-79, 12, 128-29, no. 50; Tokyo/Kyoto 1980, 77, no. 156; cma 1981c; cma 1982a; cma 1982-83b; Paris/New York 1988, 544-46, no. 282; cma 1989c; cma 1991e; Los Angeles et al. 1993-94, 156-57, no. 22 (repr.); cma 1994-95. The Cleveland Museum of Art (8/27/00 - 10/17/00); NY, NY: The Pierpont Morgan Library (5/24/01- 8/19/01); Museum of Fine Arts Houston (10/14/01 - 1/6/02); "Master Drawings from The Cleveland Museum of Art", exh. cat. no. 47, pp.122-123; p.289-290. J. Paul Getty Museum (organizer). Sterling and Francine Clark Art Insitiute, Willianstown, MA (10/28/2007 - 1/21/2008): "Consuming Passion: Fragonard's Pictures of Love" CMA, "Treasures on Paper from the Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art" (Mar. 9, 2014-Jun. 8, 2014) The Cleveland Museum of Art (07/16/2016-11/06/2016); Elegance and Intrigue: French Society in 18th-century Prints and Drawings.

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