As a boy, Fragonard took a keen intersest in art above all things. The love he expressed toward drawing and painting did not go unoticed and his parents brought him to a fellow by the name of Boucher, who took on apprentices.
He was probably around 14-15 at the time. Boucher noted right away he really had no formal training, and decided he would let his friend Chardin deal with the kid, if he wanted to. Chardin took young Fragonard and gave him an apprenticeship doing really fun tasks! Coffee, bagels, and making copies! He copied the works of masters, a tedious, time consuming task (also quite effective) but nonetheless all too boring for Fragonard.
Chardin eventually gave up on him and let him go! He was clearly bored and Chardin did not see him going far. But after being associated with the two top talents one could ever wish to be, at least in 1748, Fragonard knew he could not just walk away from a possible art career. It really stung, but what else was he to do? Haberdasher? No way!
This was a tough time for him, and he had to act fast. Rejection never looks good on the CV and to fix it drastic measures had to be taken. Besides, he really slacked when it came to school, so he needed to find a niche in the art world.
He put together a portfolio of drawings he had done from great works in Parisian churches, and headed over to see Boucher. In a tense 'interview' moment he presented his portfolio to the master painter hoping to recieve an apprenticeship from him. To his great relief the artist took him on! (It's like designing for Dior then jumping to Chanel!) The two became friends after working together for a bit, job security....
Jeroboam Sacrificing to the Idol, Fragonard age 20