Sheepshearing Beneath a Tree

Artist: Jean-François Millet (French, Gruchy 1814–1875 Barbizon)

Date: ca. 1854

Medium: Conté crayon with stumping, heightened with pen and brown ink and white gouache on wove paper

Dimensions: 11 5/8 x 8 7/8 in. (29.5 x 22.5 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Gift of Miss G. Louise Robinson, 1940

Accession Number: 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.