Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Sheepfold

Charles Jacque (French, Paris 1813–1894 Paris)
Oil on wood
18 1/8 x 36 1/8 in. (46 x 91.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1897
Accession Number:
Not on view
The barn depicted here is thought to have been owned by a friend of Jacque’s in or near the village of Barbizon. Jacque had moved there from Paris in 1849, settling next door to Jean-François Millet, whose subject matter and painting style he adopted. Yet Jacque’s approach was more literal and descriptive than Millet’s. He came fully into his own with rustic scenes such as this one, in which the abundance of prosaic details is harmonized through the warm glow of sunlight. The chickens are more than incidental: in addition to painting Jacque also tried his hand as a poultry farmer.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): ch. Jacque / 1857.
Hopkinson, London (until 1897; sold on March 23, for Fr 13,093 to Boussod-Valadon and Bernheim-Jeune); [Boussod, Valadon & Cie, 1897; stock no. 24811, as "Intérieur de bergerie," in half-share with Bernheim-Jeune, sold on April 20 for Fr 20,000 to Avery]; Samuel P. Avery Jr., New York (1897; sold to MMA)
James B. Townsend. "The Museum's New Pictures." New York Times (November 7, 1897), p. SM5, ill.

Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, pp. 86–87, ill., mention a similar painting in the Manceaux sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 19, 1912, no. 38 (present location unknown).

Jean Bouret. L'École de Barbizon et le paysage français au XIXe siècle. Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 1972, p. 268, ill. p. 150.

Hans-Peter Bühler. "Tiermaler aus Passion—Charles-Émile Jacque." Weltkunst 55 (April 15, 1985), p. 1103.

Pierre-Olivier Fanica. Charles Jacque, 1813–1894: Graveur original et peintre animalier. Montigny-sur-Loing, 1995, pp. 53, 167, 185, ill. (color), identifies the setting as the sheep barn belonging to Benoni Bellon in Barbizon; notes that it prefigures multiple interiors painted by Jacque.

The setting is the sheep barn belonging to the farmer Benoni (Jean-Baptiste) Bellon in the village of Barbizon [see Fanica 1995].
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