Grasse 1732 - Paris 1806

Cupid embracing his mother Venus, after Veronese

Black chalk drawing on paper: 23.3 x 19.3 cm., Inscribed ‘Paul Veronese, Galerie Colonne’

Provenance: Private Collection, London

After his apprenticeship in the studio of Francois Boucher, Fragonard successfully competed for the Prix de Rome in 1752.  He finally reached Italy and the French Academy in Rome in 1756 and set about studying the masters of the Italian Baroque in Rome, Naples and Venice.  Among his subjects in drawing were Tiepolo’s Taking of Carthage, The Triumph of Marius and Hannibal contemplating the head of Asdrubale, all from Ca’Dolfin in Venice, as well as Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife by Lionello Spada, from the Palazzo Ducale, Modena. Clearly these subjects were to be adapted as prints, but they also endowed the artist with a firm grounding in the baroque idiom which resulted in the confident mastery and fluidity of his mature style when he returned to France in 1761.