Artwork Detail

Landscape with Sheep
19th century
French, 1813–1894
Oil on canvas
29 1/8 x 39 5/8 "
Bequest of Charles Parsons, 1905
WU 2120
Charles Emile Jacque was a member of the Barbizon school, a group of artists working in France, in the Forest of Fontainebleau and the neighboring farming village of Barbizon outside of Paris, from the early 1830s to the 1870s. Its proponents broke with the established elevated rhetoric of the picturesque through the use of painting en plein air (out of doors) and turning to depictions of nature on a more human, accessible scale as an antidote to the increasing industrialization of urban life. In this scene depicting a rural shepherdess seated amidst her sheep, Jacque manipulates light and atmosphere to render a landscape seemingly untouched by industry. With its thick daubs of paint, rough surface, and lack of conventional subject hierarchy (a lone tree is more prominent than the shepherdess seated in a near shadow), the painting expresses a subjective and intimate vision of nature that takes the form of an unmediated and authentic connection with the natural world. [Permanent collection label, 2013]