Untitled (A Group of Peasants Eating)

Accession Number

Untitled (A Group of Peasants Eating)


Object Creation Date
2nd half of 16th century

Medium & Support
ink on laid paper

13 in x 15 in (33.02 cm x 38.1 cm);7 7/8 in x 9 7/8 in (20 cm x 25.08 cm);12 3/8 in x 14 3/8 in (31.43 cm x 36.51 cm)

Credit Line
Joseph F. McCrindle Collection

Label copy
Gallery Rotation Winter 2013
Attributed to
Jacopo Bassano
Italy, circa 1510–circa 1592
A Group of Peasants Eating
Pen and ink
Gift of the Joseph F. McCrindle Collection, 2009/1.521
In old master art, drawings and sketches provided an opportunity for experimentation. The quick, fluid, and dark lines used to articulate the forms and setting in A Group of Peasants Eating emphasize the horizontal thrust of the composition and imply movement in the figures. In Kneeling Shepherd the dark and deliberate line of the drawing that defines the forms of the figure and recumbent lamb traces over what was loosely sketched in graphite. Increasingly in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy, simple scenes such as these, inspired by everyday life, would have been incorporated into larger religious paintings, adding a rustic genre appeal. The context of a religious image also elevated the status of such humble subjects.

Subject matter
Whether a studio product or remembered from life, a quick sketch such as this could be employed in either a genre scene or incorporated into a biblical subject. The interest in rough peasant life is celebrated in this drawing.

Physical Description
A group of figures are seen kneeling at the lower left in preparation of eating an al fresco meal. The figures consist of two women, two men, and a child, accompanied by a dog, curled up at the bottom right and two lambs or sheep at the right side. Two standing men and a cow are visible, as is the landscape behind the figures that includes trees and a house.
Throughout, the work is unified by the consistent fluid and dense pen strokes that describe the figures and animals as well as the distant landscape and sky.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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Ovis aries (species)
cows (mammals)
dogs (devices for wood)
landscapes (representations)
studies (visual works)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 1st floor ➜ 102 (Richard and Rosann Noel Gallery)