Secrets of the Wallace: The Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1767)

Listen to the Story: 5 minutes

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‘The Swing’ is an eighteenth-century masterpiece by Jean-Honoré Fragonard that embodies the spirit of the Rococo artistic style. In this film, Curatorial Assistant Carmen Holdsworth-Delgado is interviewed by Christobel and Niamh about the painting, in which a young lady becomes the centre of attention, objectification, fantasy and desire. Though at first glance it may appear to be a scene of playful recreation, look closely for the two male characters in the painting; the composition suggests both scandalous romantic liaisons and voyeuristic intentions. Fragonard explores the social mores and painterly traditions of the age whilst inviting the viewer to become part of the seduction…