About this artwork
This is one of Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s 179 drawings illustrating scenes from Ludovico Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando furioso (The Frenzy of Orlando), first published in 1532. The English knight Astolfo, in armor at left in the ship’s bow, has left the island of the enchantress Alcina. In this scene, he sails home escorted by Andronica and Sofrosina, who represent the virtues of Fortitude and Temperance. Sofrosina waves her wand, directing the wind, while the angelic putti at the ship’s stern advance it with their breath.
Fragonard’s line—as frenzied as Orlando—vividly conveys the turbulent elements of wind and sea as the rocking ship sails swiftly from right to left and out of the picture.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Jean Honoré Fragonard
- Astolfo Sails off with Andronica and Sofrosina
- Made 1780–1785
- Black chalk, with pen and brush and brown ink and brush and brown wash, on off-white laid paper
- 393 × 267 mm
- Promised gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray
- Obj: 202341