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The Little Cook (La Petite cuisinière)

Pierre-Édouard Frère

European Art

Throughout Oller’s first Paris sojourn, Pierre-Édouard Frère’s small-scale paintings of village children engaged in everyday activities were enormously popular with the city’s middle class. Paintings such as The Little Cook were praised for their truthful observations of the lives of the poor, then a novel focus for painters.

Depictions of schooling, such as The Reprimand, were particularly fashionable after 1850, thanks to France’s renewed interest in educating young children. Oller was also intensely interested in pedagogy; he established art schools in Puerto Rico, published a treatise on geometry and art, and painted portraits of the island’s most influential teachers.

Durante la primera estadía en París de Oller, las pinturas a pequeña escala de Pierre-Édouard Frère de niños de pueblo, involucrados en actividades cotidianas, eran extremadamente populares en el círculo de la clase media de la ciudad. Pinturas, tales como La pequeña cocinera, fueron alabadas por sus observaciones verídicas de la vida de los pobres, las cuales en ese entonces constituían un enfoque novedoso para los pintores.

Las representaciones escolares, como La reprimenda, estuvieron de moda particularmente después de 1850 gracias al renovado interés de Francia por educar a niños jóvenes. Oller también tenía un gran interés en la pedagogía; él estableció escuelas de arte en Puerto Rico, publicó un tratado de geometría y arte y pintó retratos de los maestros más influyentes de la isla.

MEDIUM Oil on panel
  • Place Made: Europe
  • DATES 1858
    DIMENSIONS 12 1/8 x 9 1/4in. (30.8 x 23.5cm) frame: 17 15/16 x 15 1/16 x 2 3/8 in. (45.6 x 38.3 x 6 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed and dated lower left: "Ed. Frère 58"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of Robert B. Woodward
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1864, provenance not yet documented; by February 22, 1864, acquired by Aaron Augustus Healy of Brooklyn, NY; February 14, 1891, purchased at Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, New York, NY, "Mr. Aaron Healy's Collection of Modern Paintings" no. 39, by Henry Thomas Chapman of Brooklyn; between 1891 and 1915, provenance not yet documented; before September 1915, acquired by Robert Blackburne Woodward of Brooklyn, NY; 1915, bequeathed by Robert Blackburne Woodward to the Brooklyn Museum.
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    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Pierre-Édouard Frère (French, 1819–1886). The Little Cook (La Petite cuisinière), 1858. Oil on panel, 12 1/8 x 9 1/4in. (30.8 x 23.5cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Robert B. Woodward, 15.328 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 15.328_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 15.328_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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