The Two Sisters

Artist: Jean Claude Richard, Abbé de Saint-Non (French, Paris 1727–1791 Paris)

Date: 1770

Medium: Pastel on paper, laid down on canvas

Dimensions: 31 5/8 x 25 in. (80.3 x 63.5 cm)

Classification: Pastels & Oil Sketches on Paper

Credit Line: Gift of Daniel Wildenstein, 1977

Accession Number: 1977.383


Saint-Non, who held a degree in theology, took minor religious orders. Later he became an amateur artist, writer, and traveler and a congenial figure in Paris society. He was a friend and patron of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806), whom he met in Rome and with whom he traveled back to France in 1761. The Abbé’s gifts, as demonstrated here, were those of a highly skilled copyist. The pastel reproduces, with slight variations, a Fragonard painting of the same title as it looked before it was cut down to half its original size. The Fragonard painting is exhibited in gallery 615. The younger child rides a wheeled horse. Below is a Polichinelle doll—a masked clown in a bicorne hat.