Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732 – 1806) was born in the Provençal city of Grasse. His artwork embodies the curiosity and freedom of the French Enlightenment. He developed a fluid and an exuberant manner as a draftsman, painter, and printmaker. His work constitutes an elaboration of the Rococo idiom established by Francois Boucher and Antoine Watteau, a manner which favored the erotic, the playful, and the joys of domesticity, and perfectly suited to his subjects. Inventive and prolific, Fragonard abandoned early on the hierarchical structure of the Royal Academy which was considered to be the conventional career path and chose to work largely for private patrons. Fragonard spent some time in François Boucher’s busy studio before successfully taking part in the 1752 Prix de Rome’s competition. After that, he joined the École Royale des Elèves Protégés to study. His impressive work was noticed and in 1756, he was sent to Italy.
Fragonard joined and stayed at the French Academy for 5 years and executed several black chalk copies there. These pieces of work show that he held masters of the Baroque in the highest esteem, copying works in Venice, Naples and Rome. He also painted small paintings for French private collectors living in Rome and produced brilliant red chalk drawings of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli. Fragonard worked with great rapidity and little blending, and developed the painterly surface of his canvases, giving pictorial form to the qualities of "genius" and "fire" so much admired by contemporary collectors.