Unnatural restraint gave way to licence frankly human, and austere splendour was replaced by the magic of personal en chantment. As in life, so in art, there were no traces of pain or sorrow. A feverish reversion to pleasure was the only note sounded. Skies were perpetually blue, gallants languished about strumming guitars, and the greensward was dotted with Shep herds and shepherdesses beribboned and Operatic. Existence became a pastoral now French, now Italian, new Spanish, and the world gaily embarked in ﬂower-decked galleys for Cythera, unmindful of hoarse mutterings which were soon to sweep aside this ﬂeeting moment Of nonchalance. In essence the entire movement was a return to paganism, not the broad paganism of earlier days, but an ethereal paganism recording all the in consequence of its hour. For the time being standards were strangely confused. Religion as well as reality was obscured. The crucifix and the crown Of thorns were forgotten. Those bambini who tempered the zealous exaltation of numerous Um brian and Flemish canvases, who with Raphael or van Dyck added such spontaneous charm, became mischievous amorini bent on missions dubious and diverting. Venus slipped into the niche SO long sacred to Mary Of Nazareth and Psyche shone cream-white amid the green of Versailles leafage. The chosen poet of all this radiant subversion, the one who best caught its particular accent, was not Watteau, SO tinged with pensiveness, nor Boucher, who possessed every gift save the gift of truth, but J ean-honoré Fragonard. It was he whose purpose was clearest, he who reduced desire to its most infec tious terms, he who joyously revived so many lost kisses and neglected caresses. Throughout his life Fragonard played and perpetuated the Comedy of Love. Femininity, perverse and eu dearing, he glorified in countless miniatures, portraits, fans, and decorative panels. Though he came last among the painters of Elysium, he imprisoned a beauty which had escaped all.