About This Artwork

Jean-François Millet
French, 1814-1875

The Keeper of the Herd, 1871/74

Oil on canvas
71.7 x 91.5 cm (28 x 36 in.)
Stamped lower left: J.F.Millet

Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Kimball Collection, 1922.4462

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, L’École des beaux-arts, Peintures, aquarelles, pastels, dessins rehaussés, croquis et eaux-fortes de J.-F. Millet, 1887, no. 21.

London, Lawrie and Company’s Galleries, Loan Collection of Pictures Principally of the French School of 1830, 1893, cat. 10.

Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery, International Exhibition, 1901, cat. 1421.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings Lent by Mrs. W. W. Kimball, July 1–October 24, 1920, no cat.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress: Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1–November 1, 1933, cat. 252.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress: Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1–November 1, 1934, cat. 199.

Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Jean-François Millet, October 17, 1975–January 5, 1976, cat. 227; traveled to London, Hayward Gallery, January 22–March 7, 1976, cat. 140.

Art Institute of Chicago, Art at the Time of the Centennial, June 19–August 8, 1976, no cat.

Publication History

Louis Soullié, Peintures, aquarelles, pastels, dessins de Jean-François Millet: relevés dans les catalogues de ventes de 1849 à 1900 (Paris: L. Soullié, 1900), p. 45.

Alexandre Arsène, “Jean-François Millet,” in Charles Holmes, Corot and Millet (New York, J. Lane, 1903), pl. opp. p. M59 (ill.).

“Buys a Millet Painting: Mrs. W. W. Kimball of Chicago Now Owner of ‘The Shepherdess’,” The New York Times (February 4, 1915), p. 9.

“Current Exhibition,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 14, 5 (1920), pp. 68 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, and Drawings (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1922), p. 64, cat. 759.

Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, and Drawings (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1923), p. 64, cat. 759.

“Millets in the Art Institute,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 18, 7 (1924), p. 89.

Marguerite B. Williams, “Valuable Collection of Paintings Added to Chicago’s Art Treasures,” America Today – Fort Dearborn Magazine (Mid-winter, 1924), p. 26.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1925), p. 146, no. 759.

Rose Mary Fishkin, “Kimball Gallery of Paintings XVII to XIX Century, Art Institute of Chicago,” (unpub. MS, Ryerson Library, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1928), p. 17.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1932), p. 163.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), p. 314.

Robert L. Herbert, “Millet Reconsidered,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 1 (1966), pp. 64–65, fig. 25.

Ownership History

The artist; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 10–11, 1875, lot 37 for 4,700 francs [price according to Soullié 1900]. Madame de la Hault, countess of Toict., Brussels [lent by her to Paris 1887]. Possibly Brame et Lorenceau, Paris, 1890 [according to an annotation in a copy of the 1914 sale catalogue, below]. Archibald Coats, Woodside, Paisley, by 1901 [lent to Glasgow 1901]; sold Christie’s, London, July 3, 1914, lot 110, to Knoedler & Co. for £5,880 as La gardienne du troupeau [buyer and price according to an annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles]; Knoedler & Co.; sold to Roebel and Reinhardt Galleries, September 1914 for $62,500, probably acting as agents for Mrs. W. W. Kimball [according to the Knoedler & Co. stockbook 6, no. 13527]; Mrs. W. W. Kimball, by February 1915 [according to New York Times 1915]; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1922.




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