Jean–François Millet (French, 18141875)
Conté crayon with stumping, pen and brown ink, heightened with white on beige wove paper; 11 5/8 x 8 7/8 in. (29.5 x 22.5 cm)
Signed, lower right: J. F. Millet
Gift of Mrs. G. Louise Robinson, 1940 (40.12.3)
The subject of sheep shearing occupied Millet for much of the 1850s. This composition is similar to that of a painting in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, which Millet exhibited at the Salon of 1853. He produced several other drawings on this theme, a second painting, and a watercolor that was delivered to his friend and biographer Alfred Sensier in 1857. Finally, he adapted the design in a painting exhibited at the Salon of 1861.