The Bolt (Le Verrou) is a Rococo style painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard created in 1778. It depicts a couple in a bedroom – the man is shown locking the door while the woman is pinned down on the bed. The painting is notable for its erotic and suggestive themes, which were quite popular in the Rococo era. The piece is part of the Musée du Louvre’s permanent collection and has been exhibited around the world.
Fragonard, who was a French painter and printmaker, is renowned for his late Rococo style. Throughout his career, he created over 550 paintings, of which only five are publicly dated. The Bolt is seen as a prime example of how Fragonard often used erotic themes within his work in an attempt to elevate lower subjects to a higher status.
Interestingly, the painting showcases François Boucher’s influence, another prominent Rococo artist of the time. The artwork has been interpreted in many ways – some see the man as a hero, protecting his lover while others view it as a portrayal of female victimization. Regardless of the interpretation, it remains a significant example of Rococo art and Fragonard’s talent.