Image Resources | Currently on View in Charles O. McGaughey Gallery

The Favorite Lamb (Le Mouton Favori)

Jean B. Pierre (French, 1714-1789)

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.

Object Information

Jean B. 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 to 1945