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Shearing Sheep

1852–53
Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)


Catalogue Raisonné

Murphy 43

Dimensions

40.7 x 24.8 cm (16 x 9 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

17.1489

Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Paintings

In early 1890, while he was staying at the asylum at St-Rémy, in Provence, van Gogh embarked on a series of copies after Millet’s paintings of the “labors of the fields,” of which this is one of the originals. Although Vincent expressed his reservations about this exercise, “fearing it might be plagiarism,” his brother Theo greatly admired the results. “The copies after Millet are possibly the finest things you’ve done,” he wrote.

Inscription

Lower right: J. F. Millet

Provenance

About 1853, purchased from the artist by William Morris Hunt, Boston; 1874, sold by Hunt through Doll and Richards, Boston, to Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston; 1917, given to the MFA by Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr. and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

Credit Line

Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton