Jean-Honoré Fragonard

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Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Portrait of a Neapolitan Woman
Brown wash over black chalk.
14 7/16 x 11 1/8 inches (367 x 282 mm)
Thaw Collection.

During his yearlong travels with the financier Jacques Bergeret de Grancourt in 1773-74, Fragonard spent two months in Naples, from 15 April to 12 June 1774. Inspired by the setting and by the local inhabitants, the artist produced some of the finest drawings of his Italian trip. This portrait of an unknown young woman wearing traditional costume is astonishing in its modernity. An abbreviated inscription on the sheet--”Naples 1774 - feme de / Ste. Lucia”--makes reference to the Passeggiata di Santa Lucia, a popular street in Naples. Fragonard produced a full length study of the same woman on a sheet now in the Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt-am-Main (Inv. No. 1104). His young companion on the trip Francois-Andre Vincent also depicted the same Neapolitan woman in drawings and a painting that emulate Fragonard's style. The question remains whether this striking woman, whose face we can study so closely, was a woman the artist observed on the street or a model who posed for him and Vincent.


Inscribed in pen and brown ink, at lower right, by Fragonard (or Bergeret): "Naples 1774-feme [de]/ S.te Lu[cie]".
Watermark: Crowned shield with horn inside, above "Van der Ley" (see Churchill 321).
Watermark: countermark: Crown above letters "GR".

Possibly Francois Georges Marechal, marquis de Bièvre (1747-1789); possibly his sale, Paris, Hotel de Bullion, 10ff March 1790, part of lot 34, "trois belles études de têtes dont un buste de femme vu de face et richement ajusté"? (according to Rosenberg); Martial Pelletier, Paris; his sale, Paris, Delbergue-Cormont, 29 April - 4 May 1867, lot 1315; Antoine-Francois Marmontel (1816-1898), Paris; his sales: Paris, Hotel Drouot, 11-14 May 1868, lot 233; Paris, Hotel Drouot, 25-26 January 1883, lot 103; and Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 28-29 March 1898, lot 24 (repurchased by his family); Edwin M. Hodgkins, Paris and London; his sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 30 April 1914, lot 28 (repurchased by family and still in this collection in 1921); sold to Féral; Casimir I. Stralem (1886-1932), New York, in 1931; his wife, Edithe Alice Neustadt Stralem (b. 1877), Pleasantville and New York, from 1932; her son, Donald S. Stralem (1903-1976), New York and Palm Springs; his wife, Jean Lehman Ickleheimer Stralem (1908-1994), New York, until 1972; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.
Associated names: 

Bièvres, de, former owner.
Pelletier, Martial, former owner.
Marmontel, former owner.
Féral, former owner.
Stralem, C. I., Mrs., former owner.
Stralem, Donald S., former owner.
Stralem, Donald S., Mrs., former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.


The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 124, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Victor Thaw. Part II. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1985, no. 11, repr. (also in Thaw III, no. 27)
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 27, repr. and p. 259.
Alexandre Ananoff, "L'Oeuvre dessiné de Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1732-1806", 4 vols., Paris, 1961-1970, no. 119, III, fig. 495.
Denison, Cara D. French Master Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1993, no. 72, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. From Mantegna to Picasso : Drawings from the Thaw Collection at the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. London : Royal Academy of Arts ; New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1996, no. 27, repr. in color.
From Leonardo to Pollock: Master drawings from the Morgan Library. New York: Morgan Library, 2006, cat. no. 82, p. 172-173.
Stein, Perrin, et al. Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant: Works from New York Collections, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016, no. 60.