A pause during a dance: a Young woman with her hands on her hips
Jean-Honoré Fragonard

A pause during a dance: a Young woman with her hands on her hips

27 January 2021 • New York

A pause during a dance: a Young woman with her hands on her hips
A pause during a dance: a Young woman with her hands on her hips
A pause during a dance: a Young woman with her hands on her hips
A pause during a dance: a Young woman with her hands on her hips
56

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

A pause during a dance: a Young woman with her hands on her hips

Estimate:

70,000 - 90,000 USD

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

A pause during a dance: a Young woman with her hands on her hips

A pause during a dance: a Young woman with her hands on her hips

Estimate:

70,000 - 90,000 USD

Bid:

50,000

USD

Live auction begins in:

Live auction begins in:

6 days, 12 hours

6 days, 12 hours

Description

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Grasse 1732 - 1806 Paris

A pause during a dance: a Young woman with her hands on her hips


Black chalk

376 by 272 mm; 14 ⅞ by 10 ¾ in

Condition report

Laid down and window mounted. A slight black line around the edges, part of an old mount which has been trimmed to the edge of the sheet. Overall good condition and medium strong. Sold mounted and framed in a carved wooden 19th Century frame.


In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Provenance

Henri Michel-Lévy,
his sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 12 May 1919, lot 81, reproduced;
Gabriel Cognacq,
his sale, Paris, 14 May 1952, lot 2, reproduced pl. 11.;
with Galerie Cailleux, Paris;
sale, New York, Sotheby's, 27 January 2010, lot 86;
With Jean Luc Baroni, Master Drawings, March- April 2011, no. 14, reproduced
Private Collection

Literature

L. Réau, Fragonard, Brussels 1956, p. 215; 
A. Ananoff, L'oeuvre dessinée de J.H. Fragonard, Paris 1961, vol. I, cat. no. 166, reproduced fig. 68;
G. Brey, 'El voluptuoso himno a la vida del pintor Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806)', in La Voz de Galicia, 21 January 1988

Exhibited

Paris, Hôtel Sagan, Fragonard, 1931, no. 43

Catalogue note

This sheet belongs to a group of chalk figure studies of young women, where the artist's primary interest was in describing the play of light across full silk skirts.1 Although many of Fragonard's best known works of this type (such as the splendid sheet sold in 19982) are executed in red chalk, the less familiar black chalk examples like this have their own distinctive and atmospheric quality. A similar study of a fashionable young woman in black chalk, but with touches of wash in the background, is in the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. That drawing shows a model seated, pausing as if interrupted whilst tying her garter; she wears a dress almost identical to the one seen in the present sheet, and both drawings must have been executed at about the same time. The shadow around the figure, cleverly drawn with short parallel lines creating different patterns, helps to locate the elegant figure in space.


Fragonard probably began this series of drawings in the mid-1770s and continued past 1780.  These finished studies of young women wearing shimmering silk dresses have been avidly collected since the 19th Century. Contrary to opinions popular in the past, the studies do not seem to have been intended as portraits, nor can it be convincingly shown that they portray Marguerite Gérard or Rosalie Fragonard. 


In the present example, the model's posture suggests a pause during a dance, which introduces a lively anecdotal element.


We are most grateful to Eunice Williams, who, at the time of the New York sale in 2010 (see Provenance) kindly assisted with the cataloguing of this drawing.


1. See P. Rosenberg, Fragonard, exhib. cat., Paris, Grand Palais, and New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987-8, pp. 432-6

2. Sale, New York, Sotheby's, 28 January 1998, lot 56

3. Ananoff, op.cit., vol. I, no. 193; E. Williams, Drawings by Fragonard in North American Collections, exhib. cat., Washington, National Gallery of Art, Cambridge, Mass., Fogg Art Museum, and New York, The Frick Collection, 1978-9, no. 56.