Shop art print and framed art The reader by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

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Subjects : Portrait
Keywords : costume, elegance, fashion, hairdo, Painting, portrait, profile, reading, vanity, woman, youth
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To fully enjoy «The reader» by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, we recommend the medium size (75.5x60 cm) printed on hand stretched canvas, with the gilded mouldings - thin frame.
The artwork

The reader

Fragonard's La liseuse: an emblematic work of 18th-century art

The painting The Reader, also known as "Young Girl Reading", is a major work by the French artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard. This oil-on-canvas painting, produced around 1770, is considered a masterpiece of the Rococo movement and perfectly reflects the artistic trends of the time.

The history of the creation of Fragonard's The Reader

Few information is available about the precise genesis of this work. Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that Jean-Honoré Fragonard was inspired by the many portraits of women of his time, which he captured with skill and finesse in his paintings. The reader in particular depicts a young girl absorbed in her reading, in an intimate and peaceful setting.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard: An influential 18th-century artist

Fragonard (1732-1806) was a French painter and engraver renowned for his gallant scenes and idyllic landscapes. He was a pupil of François Boucher, himself strongly influenced by the Rococo style. Fragonard quickly developed his own approach and became a sought-after artist, producing decorations for royal residences and the private mansions of the French nobility.

An emblematic representation of women and reading

Fragonard's Liseuse features a young girl immersed in a book, whose face exudes great serenity. The choice of colours is both delicate and vivid, helping to create a soft, warm atmosphere around the central figure. The light emanating from the canvas seems almost palpable, reinforcing the impression of intimacy and well-being that emanates from the whole.

The importance of books and reading in the eighteenth century

In the eighteenth century, reading was considered a privilege reserved for the elite, and portraits of women reading were often made to reflect their refinement and culture. The presence of a book in a painting also testified to the model's high social status. Through his work, Fragonard therefore participated in this showcasing of reading and knowledge.

Painting techniques employed by Fragonard

In the production of his paintings, Jean-Honoré Fragonard demonstrated great technical mastery, both in the choice of colours and in the use of light. His colour palette is characterised by pastel tones enhanced by touches of bright colour, giving his works an atmosphere that is both soft and dynamic.

The mastery of light

With Fragonard, light plays a vital role and contributes greatly to creating the overall atmosphere of a work. In La liseuse, he manages to make light almost palpable, notably by working with the shadows and reflections on the face of the central figure and the various objects that make up the scene.

A rococo style recognisable among a thousand

Fragonard is considered one of the great representatives of the French rococo movement, and his style is characterised by a great fluidity of form, a delicate treatment of colour and a keen sense of composition. Fragonard's reader thus bears all the hallmarks of this artistic school, with its light hues and elegant curves.

The posterity of Fragonard's reader

Today, Fragonard's liseuse is part of the collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Washington, where it continues to amaze visitors with its beauty and grace. This landmark work of the Rococo movement has also inspired many contemporary artists, who have taken up and reinterpreted the motif in their own creations.

A source of inspiration for modern artists

The image of the young girl reading has spanned the centuries and become a true symbol of culture and refinement. Many contemporary artists have appropriated this motif, breathing new life into it through different techniques and styles.

Fragonard's reading girl in popular culture

The popularity of this work has also gone beyond the strictly artistic to establish itself as an icon of French culture. It thus appears on numerous posters, postcards and other decorative objects, testifying to its status as a key image in art history.

The Fragonard Reading Light remains today one of Jean-Honoré Fragonard's most famous works and symbolises the charm and elegance characteristic of the Rococo movement. Through this painting, which skilfully blends pictorial technique, feminine representation and the highlighting of reading, the artist provides us with a precious testimony to the aesthetic and cultural concerns of his time.



This artwork is a painting from the classical period. It belongs to the rococo style.


« The reader » is kept at National Gallery of Art, Washington.


Find the full description of The reader by Jean-Honoré Fragonard on Wikipedia.

The artist

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

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Jean-Honoré Fragonard

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