Fragonard and the Happy Accident of 'The Swing'

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Fragonard and the Happy Accident of 'The Swing'

Fragonard and the Happy Accident of 'The Swing'

Date: Friday 12 November 2021
Times: 19.00–20.00 GMT, followed by book signing and refreshments until 20.45
Location: Wallace Collection Theatre, Lower Ground 
Speaker: Dr Satish Padiyar (Honorary Research Fellow, The Courtauld Institute of Art) 

Talk Description: Stories of the origins of specific works of art can take on mythic proportions. Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s famous The Swing was commissioned in forever mysterious circumstances, just as, for example, was his contemporary Mozart’s Requiem. Born in circumstances of high secrecy, the painting has become today the most celebrated and public image of the Rococo. 

Dr Satish Padiyar will reveal in this talk how the young Fragonard responded to a patron’s erotic fantasies in the The Swing. The minor commission of 1767 was a happy accident in Fragonard’s career. Steeped in the arts of grand history painting, Fragonard discovered new worlds of sensation and pleasure with this risky venture. It would forever change what painting was for him. 

Book Signing: Following the talk, Dr Padiyar will sign copies of his recent publication, Fragonard: Painting out of Time (Reaktion Books). Please note that the event ticket price is redeemable against the purchase of the publication made on the evening. Participants can enjoy a glass of prosecco during the signing. 

About the Speaker: Dr Satish Padiyar is an art historian, writer and curator. An Honorary Research Fellow of The Courtauld Institute of Art, he is author of Chains. David, Canova and the Fall of the Public Hero in Postrevolutionary France (2007). His latest book is the recently acclaimed Fragonard. Painting Out of Time (Reaktion Books, 2020). 

Funds for the conservation of The Swing were generously provided to The Wallace Collection by the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.

Date & Times

Date Start Time End Time
12/11/2021 19:00 20:45

Ticket Information

Ticket type Price
Talk & Book Signing £5
Book tickets