The Favorite Lamb (Le Mouton Favori)

Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre (French, 1714-1789)

Currently on View in H213
Image Licensing

From 1752-1770, Pierre was First Painter to the Duke d’Orléans and also worked for the royal family, succeeding François Boucher as First Painter to the King in 1770. He applied his flexible talent to scenes from religion, mythology, and allegory, as well as country life. The Favorite Lamb draws on all these areas of expertise and could represent a fantasy of rural life or an allegory of humility. Pierre’s contemporaries praised his balance between levity and seriousness that avoids both frivolity and ponderousness. Here, the woman’s quiet expression and demure, downcast gaze contrast the wild eye and open mouth of the sheep, which appears about to munch the elaborate garland.

Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of European Art, at if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

Object Information

Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre (French, 1714-1789)
creation date
about 1758
oil on canvas
35-5/8 x 39-1/2 in.
accession number
credit line
Gift of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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