Monday, August 11, 2008

Honoré Fragonard

Inspired by the question "Where would your investigator look for information about ghouls?" thread over at, I was inspired to look up Honoré Fragonard again. I find the man fascinating and would love to get my hands on any sort of biographical information I can find. Unfortunately it seems there is very little. I think I may have to visit a medical library or similarly specialized library to find much.

In the meantime, I have this biography from the Honoré Fragonard Museum. And there is the French Wikipedia article as well, which I have translated (roughly) for the aforementioned YSDC thread.

What I find most fascinating is that he made his Écorchés not only for scientific purposes, but for artistic and entertainment and money! He sold many to aristocrats to help furnish their Curiosities Cabinets.

And then when he tried to collect all of his works in one place he was foiled! People, both of science and the aristocracy, wanted them too much to see them displayed in a museum. So there are only 21 specimens that have survived at École National Vétérinaire d'Alfort, and one or two other at other museums and universities. But he made around 50 or more! Where are those other 30?