About This Artwork

Jean-François Millet
French, 1814-1875

The Sheepshearers, 1857/61

Oil on canvas
41.2 x 28.5 cm (16 1/4 x 11 1/4 in.)
Stamped lower right: J.R. Millet

Potter Palmer Collection, 1922.417

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 19th Annual Exhibition, 1880, cat. 31.

Paris, l’École des Beaux-Arts, Exposition des œuvres de J. F. Millet, 1887, cat. 45.

Paris, Galérie Georges Petit, Exposition de chefs-d’œuvre de l’école française, May 2–31, 1910, cat. 120.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress: Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1–November 1, 1933, cat. 256.

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

Toledo Museum of Art, Artists Unappreciated in Their Day, November 5–December 10, 1939, cat. 6.

Denver Art Museum, Man at Work, March 2–April 27, 1952, no cat. no.

Carbondale, Illinois, Southern Illinois University, A Festival of Fine Arts, February 26–March 10, 1956, cat. 3.

Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, Theo van Gogh, 1857–1891: Art Dealer, Collector and Brother of Vincent, May 9–August 22, 1999, cat. 89; traveled to the Paris, Musée d’Orsay, September 20, 1999–January 9, 2000.

Publication History

Alfred Sensier, Jean-François Millet: Peasant and Painter, trans. Helena de Kay (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1881), p. 139.

D. Appleton and Company, Appletons’ Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1888, vol. 8 (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1889), p. 335.

Lucy Monroe, “Chicago Letter,” The Critic, new series, vol. 20 (1893), p. 30.

Julia Ady, “Jean-François Millet,” Masters in Art 1, 8 (1900), no pag. no. (ill.)

Louis Soullié, Peintures, Aquarelles, Pastels, Dessins de Jean-François Millet (Paris: L. Soullié, 1900), p. 25.

Romain Rolland, Millet (London: Duckworth & Co., 1902), p. 85 (ill.).

Walther Gensel, Millet und Rousseau (Bielefeld und Leipzig: Velhagen & Klasing, 1902), pp. 25 (ill.), 48, fig. 16.

Art Institute of Chicago, “Accessions and Loans: March–April 1922,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 16, 3 (1922), p. 47.

Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture and Paintings (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1922), p. 68, no. 829.

Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, and Paintings (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1923), p. 68, no. 829.

“Millets in the Art Institute,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 18, 7 (1924), pp. 88, 89 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1925), pp. 50 (ill.), 51, 146, no. 829.

Paul Gsell, Masters of Modern Art: Millet (London: John Lane the Bodley Head Limited, 1928), pl. 14.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1932), pp. 46 (ill.), 47, 164.

“The Rearrangement of the Painting Galleries,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 27, 7 (1933), p. 114 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Collections (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1935), p. 27.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), p. 313.

Robert L. Herbert, “Millet Reconsidered,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 1 (1966), pp. 39, 59, fig. 12.

Alexandra R. Murphy, Jean-François Millet, exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1984), p. 71 n. 1.

Roger Billcliffe, The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861–1989: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, vol. 3 (Glasgow: The Woodend Press, 1992), p. 231.

Richard Thomson, “Theo van Gogh: An Honest Broker,” in Chris Stolwijk and Richard Thomson, Theo van Gogh, 1857–1891: Art Dealer, Collector and Brother of Vincent, exh. cat. (Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum, 1999), pp. 90, 97 (ill.), 201–202 n. 112, cat. 89.

Frances Fowle, “West of Scotland Collectors of Nineteenth-Century French Art,” in Vivien Hamilton, Millet to Matisse: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century French Painting from Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, exh. cat. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press and Glasgow Museums, 2002), pp. 48–49 n. 28.

Andrew M. Watson, James Duncan: An Enlightened Victorian (Edinburgh: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2010), p. 54 (ill.).

Chantal Georgel, Millet (Paris: Citadelles & Mazenod, 2014), pp. 321, 322–23, fig. 309.

Ownership History

The artist; his studio sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 10–11, 1875, lot 26 for 7,100 francs [price according to Soullié 1900]. James Duncan (died 1905), London, by 1880 [lent by him to Glasgow 1880]; sold to Boussod, Valadon & Cie., April 12, 1886, for 6,250 francs [according to Groupil stock book no. 17777]; sold to Henri Poidatz (died 1905), Paris, May 22, 1886, for 12,000 francs; sold back to Boussod, Valadon & Cie., December 17, 1888, for 18,000 francs [according to Goupil stock book no. 19589]; sold to Potter Palmer (died 1902), Chicago, March 30, 1889 for 38,480 francs; his widow, Bertha Honoré Palmer (died 1918); by descent to their sons Honoré and Potter Palmer; given by them to the Art Institute, 1922.




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