Le bluff de l’aveugle (c.1775-1780)

Fragonard, Jean-Honoré (1732-1806)

Le bluff de l’aveugle (Blind man’s Bluff)
Oil on canvas, 62.5 x 45.1 cm
Timken Museum of ArtSan Diego

Jean Honore Fragonard trained in the studio of François Boucher, who painted Lovers in the Park, hanging nearby. Although he was accepted into the French Academy, he declined to pursue a public career as a history painter. Preferring, instead, to work for private clients, Fragonard developed a style that lauded the charm and beauty of the private moments of the French aristocracy. In Blindman’s Buff, well-dressed men, women, and children play the familiar game in the kind of picturesque overgrown garden that was popular with the aristocracy. This and similar lighthearted amusements were among Fragonard‘s favorite subjects, and he may have viewed the games as symbolizing the game of courtship. (Timken)