The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
A Boy as Pierrot
  • Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732 - 1806)
  • A Boy as Pierrot
  • France
  • c. 1785
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 59.8 x 49.7 cm
  • P412
  • Oval Drawing Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The painting shows the 'portrait de fantaisie' of a boy in a theatre costume that is too large for his age. It follows the template of Dutch head-studies in a costume (tronies) and adapts them to the world of the Commedia dell'Arte and the Fête galante. Fragonard also aims to evoke the sense of a pastel, a fashionable eighteenth-century technique. The combination of these traits is typical of Fragonard's intelligent play with painterly genres and styles.
    The miniatures produced by Fragonard’s wife Anne-Marie Gérard are stylistically related and probably date from the same period. One of them follows the Wallace painting closely (London, Christie's, 27/28 November 2012, lot 441). Originally, the painting had a pendant of a girl in a pearl necklace (Los Angeles, County Museum of Art) that was also formerly in the Livois collection.