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Nymph Riding on a Satyr's Back, from Bacchanales, or Satyrs' Games

A work made of etching on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching on ivory laid paper.




Jean Honoré Fragonard
French, 1732-1806

About this artwork

This set of four etchings may refer to ancient bas-reliefs Fragonard saw while visiting Rome with an important antiquarian, the Abbé de Saint Non (see 1926.453–55). Indeed, the artist’s design for Nymph Riding on a Satyr’s Back directly derives from a sculpture (now lost) that he saw in the Villa Mattei. The size of the paired oval and rectangular reliefs—one or more of which might derive from ancient engraved cameos instead of large-scale sculptures—remains ambiguous, although hidden objects in the surrounding foliage suggest a large scale. Regardless of their source, the popularity of Fragonard’s printed reliefs reflected the taste for Neoclassicism in France at this time.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Jean Honoré Fragonard


Nymph Riding on a Satyr's Back, from Bacchanales, or Satyrs' Games


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Etching on ivory laid paper


Image: 13.5 × 20.3 cm (5 3/8 × 8 in.); Plate: 14.5 × 21 cm (5 3/4 × 8 5/16 in.); Sheet: 14.7 × 21 cm (5 13/16 × 8 5/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Print and Drawing Club

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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