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The Sacrifice of the Rose, c. 1785–88.
In the Sacrifice of the Rose, a winged youth—identified as either Cupid, god of love, or Hymen, god of marriage—and a swooning young woman set fire to a rose. Their action would have been understood as a reference to sexual ecstasy and the loss of virginity. Fragonard worked on the depiction of this theme, which suggests the culmination of the action of The Fountain of Love, in a number of preparatory drawings and oil sketches.

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