The Alte Pinakothek in Munich, Germany holds this charming artwork that features a girl playing with her beloved pet in a domestic setting. Fragonard displays his skills with drapery through the hanging material that surrounds the two figures. It is of a strong mustard colour and there is evidence from other paintings in his career that he would have practiced this composition several times over before taking on the final artwork in oils. Light is carefully directed at the pillow in order to lead your eyes towards the main focal point of the piece, whilst the rest is left entirely in the shade. Many elements of this painting are entirely typical of the artist, with the use of young women, animals and also the delicate use of light and colour.
Fragonard himself was a respected Rococo painter who perhaps achieved a higher level of fame and academic respect than any other members of this group. He had his own unique approach which made use of multiple layers of both oils but also in the meanings within many of his compositions. Those who were unaware of these social comments would still find his paintings immediately accessible and particularly charming. Whilst this movement is sometimes seen as a little too much for some, his bold and confident brushstrokes have helped his reputation to remain strong and his career continues to draw comment today, whilst also inspiring others. We are aware of his influence on the likes of Morisot and Renoir, for example.
Girl with a Dog may not have been his most famous painting of all but it perfectly captures this artist's signature style and also retains his focus on the female role within society, both domestically and also in romantic meetings outside, as found in other paintings. Some have studied his career in greater detail in recent years, having learnt about his influence on others and they have helped us to understand more about his career, even though so many years have passed since he first was taken under the wing of Francois Boucher. His other paintings, as featured within this website, will further allow you a glimpse into the charming world created by this highly skilled and unique artist.