The Stolen Kiss

10:45 AM

Jean Honore-Fragonard, The Stolen Kiss, 1788


Jean Honore-Fragonard’s The Stolen Kiss is the perfect addition to any collection. Completed in 1788, this work has a more realistic subject than previous pieces. The painting catches any eye with pastel colors on bottom contrasting with darker colors on top. The illuminated woman draws eyes to the center of the photo where one sees a flirtatious scene taking place. The young woman is seen kissing a young man while other women appear to play cards in the other room. The woman leans into the young man while he grasps her hand, but she looks back towards the doorway. She also holds onto her wrap, which sits about a side-table with an open drawer where ribbons pouring out of. Here, Fragonard hints at their sexual relationship. The curtains seem to engulf the young lovers in darkness. The shawl on the table hints to her needing to get dressed after sleeping with the young man. The painting showcases a snapshot of an intimate moment between the two lovers before they part. This promiscuous scene is similar to many of Fragonard’s paintings.

Technically, the painting is amazing. Fragonard's intricate details makes the painting look close to a photograph. Fragonard, a fan of Dutch artists such as Rubens and Hals, uses blended brushstrokes and little details similar to the Dutch. The young woman’s dress showcases Fragonard’s painting skills. The dress has amazing texture with wrinkles and pleats. The dress hints to the woman’s extreme riches, as does her furniture. The carpet, side-table, and curtains further showcase Fragonard’s technical abilities.

Why wouldn’t you want this beautiful piece in your library or above your mantel? Not only does this piece make a statement, it then starts a conversation. Every man should have this frivolous Fragonard as a great addition to any collection. The Stolen Kiss perfectly captures a moment of passion between two young lovers.

Editor's Note: The authors were asked to write sales copy for Edme-François Gersaint, the prominent rococo art dealer who offered a printed catalog of available works.

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