Haydn, Day 2: Colin Bailey of the DeYoung Museum

“Fragonard, Mme DuBarry, and the Progress of Love”.

1771, newly built house for Mme DuBarry, the official mistress of Louis XV. Fragonard’s 4 panels commissioned for her salon, but rejected. Fragonard took them to a relative’s house in Gras (?), in Lyon.

I’m so curious about the category “official mistress”… How was that different from an Unofficial Mistress? How did you get to be an Official mistress? What privileges did that give?  Did you have to be married? Did your husband have to agree? Was this a concept unique to France, or did other countries have it too?

[I love the phrases “amorous swains” and “the worst excesses of the French Revolution.]

Fragonard as the “amorous Cherubino of French painting 🙂   But also a serious, successful academic painter of historical subjects – Prix de Rome 1760. Glorious dramatic painting of an antique priest sacrificing himself in lieu of a girl who had rejected him.

I would like to have an 18×9-foot allegorical painted ceiling panel n my home.

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