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Shepherd Tending His Flock

Jean-François Millet

European Art

On View: European Art Galleries, 5th floor
Painted at the time of Francisco Oller’s first stay in Paris, Shepherd Tending His Flock exemplifies Jean-François Millet’s dignified representations of French rural subjects. Despite their idyllic appearance today, such subjects, displayed publicly at the annual Salons of the time, carried a critique of the urban middle class’s exploitation of people and resources through industrialization.

Although no friendship between Oller and Millet is documented, Oller certainly shared the Realist painter’s sympathies for depictions of peasants engaged in backbreaking manual labor. He would later portray Caribbean country people in the equally charged sociopolitical background of Spanish colonial Puerto Rico.

Pintado durante la primera estadía de Francisco Oller en París, Pastor atendiendo su rebaño ejemplifica las representaciones solemnes de Jean- François Millet de sujetos rurales franceses. A pesar de su actual apariencia idílica, tales sujetos, exhibidos públicamente en los Salones anuales de la época, acarrearon una crítica a la clase media urbana de su explotación de gente y recursos a través de la industrialización.

Aunque no se ha documentado ninguna amistad entre Oller y Millet, Oller ciertamente compartió las simpatías del pintor realista de representaciones de campesinos involucrados en labores manuales arduas. Posteriormente, él representaría a la gente caribeña del campo bajo el trasfondo sociopolítico igualmente cargado del Puerto Rico colonial español.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Europe
  • DATES early 1860s
    DIMENSIONS 32 3/16 x 39 9/16 in. (81.8 x 100.5 cm) frame: 41 5/8 x 49 3/16 x 3 1/2 in. (105.7 x 124.9 x 8.9 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "J. F. Millet"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in European Art Galleries, 5th floor
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of William H. Herriman
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Jean-François Millet (French, 1814-1875). Shepherd Tending His Flock, early 1860s. Oil on canvas, 32 3/16 x 39 9/16 in. (81.8 x 100.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of William H. Herriman, 21.31 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 21.31_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 21.31_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2021
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