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Archive for March 4th, 2020

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If necessary, I would even paint with my bottom.

Jean-Honore Fragonard

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I can’t say I am a fan at all of the work of Jean-Honore Fragonard but the quote above made me laugh this morning. I think some folks believe I’ve been painting that way for years now. Sometimes, I believe it myself.

But his point, while humorous, makes a vital point.

I know I have been asked what I would do if I suddenly couldn’t paint anymore and I always answer the same way:

I’d find a way.

Whatever obstacles arise, there is usually a way to be found around or over or under them. Hopefully, it doesn’t come down to painting with my bottom but if that’s the way it must be, so be it.

Now, let me share just bit about Fragonard, the French painter who lived from 1732 to 1806. He painted in the Rococo style, one which never really appealed to me. It’s very

the French painter who lived from 1732 to 1806 and worked in the Rococo style, which has never really appealed to me. I have a hard time even describing it except to say it’s busy and soft and often has the feel of a bad romance novel book cover. Rococo paintings might look fine and in their proper place in a highly decorated chateau in the Loire Valley but they just don’t translate well for me personally.

But that’s just my take.

Fragonard dies in 1806 as an almost unknown painter. He had achieved fame and notoriety as a painter earlier in his career, painting his elaborate pieces with a hedonistic feel for the upper classes of French society. Unfortunately for Fragonard, the French Revolution effectively wiped out most of his patrons, most either guillotined or sent into exile.

His style of painting was not appreciated and he went into hiding of sorts. For the last fifteen years or so of his life, he was off the radar completely. This extended for another sixty or seventy until his work underwent a reevaluation and rebirth. He has since been hailed as one of the masters of French painting.

So, his work lives on and he never had to paint with his bottom, to the best of my knowledge.

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