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Between and Mortarboard


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The Shepherdess

Accession Number
1955/1.106

Title
The Shepherdess

Artist(s)
Jean-François Millet

Object Creation Date
circa 1857

Medium & Support
black chalk on off-white wove paper

Dimensions
12 1/16 in x 15 1/8 in (30.64 cm x 38.42 cm);19 3/16 in x 23 7/8 in (48.74 cm x 60.64 cm);21 1/4 in x 24 9/16 in (53.98 cm x 62.39 cm)

Credit Line
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker

Label copy
Jean-François Millet
France, 1814–1875
The Shepherdess
circa 1857
Black chalk
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker, 1955/1.106
After studying in Paris, Millet traveled to Barbizon in 1849. There in the Fontainebleau forest, Millet began to paint rustic landscapes and scenes from peasant lives that became a hallmark of his work. These pastoral genre scenes of hard-working peasants have a simplicity and monumentality that make them a kind of visual homily on the virtues of the steadfast country folk he encountered.
This scene is a testament to the watchfulness of the shepherdess and her dog. The quiet dignity of the scene carries a Biblical resonance that Millet shares with Rembrandt. This muted delicacy is conveyed through Millet’s build up of tonalities on the sheet, achieved through smudging of the chalk overlaid with careful hatching lines to convey mass and the slanting light of late afternoon.
(6/28/10)

Primary Object Classification
Drawing

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Workers
hills
sheep
sketches
staff
standing
trees

5 Related Resources

Poverty
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Social Justice
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Social Justice and Art in the 19th Century
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Work and Workers
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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