Two Fragonard paintings that had been missing since 1786 have been acquired by the French state


France has just added two of the Fragonard paintings to its national collections. These are the paintings of Jean Honore Fragonard. It was thought to be missing until 2017.  Both of the Fragonard Paintings will now be at the Musee Fabre in Montpellier.

Named as the Le Jeu de la Palette and La Bascule of the ca. 1760-65, these paintings feature the landscape of the overflowing greenery. There are small figures which are playing beneath the grand Neoclassical structures portrayed in these paintings.

Four years earlier, the paintings reemerged as a family had discovered them while inventorying a castle at Normandy. The last known record for these two paintings dates back to the 1786 document of their sale to the Pierre Bergeret de Grandcourt. He used to be a French aristocrat and Fragonard’s friend.

The family found these paintings while they applied for an export license to sell their world abroad. But the French state has denied letting the paintings leave the country. The state has declared these paintings as national treasures.

The French Ministry of Culture did say the amount they have paid for the paintings while announcing its acquisition on Thursday. Le Figaro has reported that in 2017 France paid an advance of Euro 6 Million.  The Louvre has helped in funding the acquisitions.

In a statement, Roselyne Bachelot, the French Culture Minister, expressed, “she is delighted with the success of an emblematic operation both for the enrichment of public collections and for the cultural activities of the State in the territories.”

It is an event when the Fragonard paintings have reappeared. In the previous month, a rediscovered portrait of the philosopher Rococo headed for sale at Encheres Champagne auction house. It sold for $ 9.2 million and become the third most expensive Fragonard painting ever sold at an auction.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here