The Joys of Motherhood
The Joys of Motherhood
The Joys of Motherhood
The Joys of Motherhood
The Joys of Motherhood
The Joys of Motherhood

The Joys of Motherhood

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732-1806)

Currently on View in H212
Image Licensing

Idealized visions of the pleasures of local country life were popularized in the 1740s by Charles-Simon Favart at the Comic Opera in Paris and in paintings and stage sets by François Boucher, with whom Fragonard apprenticed prior to his 1752 Rome Prize win. Here, the young mother, with her pretty dress and powdered hair, owes more to staged pastorals than reality. Paintings this size functioned as interior decorations for wealthy patrons. Pretty country scenes were especially popular since rural subjects suited country châteaux equally as well as city dwellings, where they might recall fashionable pastimes, like the theater. Fragonard painted unusually dynamic decorative works and here vitality exudes from the abundant flora, rosy infant, and robust, pushy toddler.

Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of European Art, at if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

Object Information

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732-1806)
creation date
about 1754
oil on canvas
57 x 38-1/2 in.
approximately 66-7/8 x 49-5/8 x 5 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
Gift of Mrs. Herman C. Krannert
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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