The exact identity of the patron is unknown, though he was at one time thought to have been the Baron de Saint-Julien, the Receiver General of the French Clergy, which would have explained the request to include a bishop pushing the swing. So here we have a young girl on the swing flying carelessly through the air, pushed from behind by an old man.
Her right slipper flies, oh so conveniently, off her foot and suddenly the young man, lounging in the low bush, enjoying the view above him, comes into view.
In fact, he is looking right up her frothy pink and cream skirt! So you see, it is a conspiracy of the two lovers whose flirtatious little game goes not only unnoticed by the old man, but where he is in fact an active participant in this concealed peep show.
Furthermore, the painting is filled with symbolism.
- NAPOLÉON ET LAMOUR (French Edition).
- Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Important Art;
- The Swing Inspirations for the Work.
And so, this otherwise innocent little childhood game is suddenly filled with playful innuendo and the audience becomes part of the clandestine affair. A style developed in the 18th century in Europe that favored asymmetrical, ornate designs, lush imagery, pastel colors and playful subjects.
A young woman wearing a lovely pink silk frock is tantalisingly positioned mid-air on a swing between her elderly husband on the right and her young lover on the left. The force of the swing caused one of her slippers to fly off, resulting in a privileged view for her lover whose delight is suggested by the symbolic offer of his hat.
File:Fragonard - swing.jpg
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