Orpheus and Eurydice (recto); Figure Studies (verso)

Orpheus and Eurydice (recto); Figure Studies (verso)

c. 1761

Part of a set. See all set records

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

(French, 1732-1806)

Black and gray chalks on cream laid paper

Sheet: 28.9 x 22.7 cm (11 3/8 x 8 15/16 in.)

Gift of Joseph F. McCrindle 2009.152



Quick drawings could serve a variety of purposes, and it is not always clear today why an artist created a particular sketch. This one may record a painting Fragonard saw during a journey to Italy, or capture an idea he was considering for a painting of his own. Orpheus, identified by the lute, grasps for his love Eurydice as she is pulled down into Hades. The snarling animals near his feet may represent Cerberus, the multiheaded guard dog of the underworld.

See also
DR - French
Type of artwork: 

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