Broken Eggs

Jean-Baptiste Greuze French

Not on view

In moralizing genre subjects such as this, Greuze brilliantly formulated a solution to the impasse that arcane history subjects posed to artists and the public. At the Salon of 1757, a critic even declared that the pose of this young servant girl, whose loss of virginity is symbolized by the broken eggs, was worthy of a history painter. Greuze struck upon such subjects, based in part on seventeenth-century Dutch painting (the girl’s pose actually derives from Frans van Mieris the Elder), while still a student in Rome, though he would spend the next decades stubbornly in pursuit of the official title of history painter.

Broken Eggs, Jean-Baptiste Greuze (French, Tournus 1725–1805 Paris), Oil on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.