Yuriko Jackall, Assistant Curator of French Paintings, National Gallery of Art lectured on “Jean-Honoré Fragonard: The Complexity of Portraiture". We learned about fantasy figures, an 18th century term for portraiture with loose gestural lines, and how Fragonard employed this practice.
Many of the subjects of Fragonard's fantasy figure series (below) have been identified with the exception of "Young Girl Reading," pictured at left. Through sophisticated technology, NGA researchers together with Dr. Jackall, uncovered her true identity. "Girl" was originally "Woman Reading" as the scans below reveal. Thus reconciling the fantasy drawing with what was thought to be a lost painting.
Through the mercury scans at right, we are able to see the various iterations Fragonard made. We can an clearly identify the fantasy drawing as the "Woman Reading", now fully realized in the painting, "Young Girl Reading." A lost painting found! Read more about this discovery here.
To read Yuriko Jackall's published research article that appeared in The Burlington Magazine, April 2015, click here.