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Leon Cogniet

The Goose Girl. Jean-François Millet

A young girl, identifiable as a peasant by her kerchief and her work-roughened hands and feet, extends her leg to dip a heel into the stream. In this painting, Millet refers to a long tradition in European art of depicting the idealized female nude in a natural setting, often in the guise of a mythological figure. The artist reworks this convention from a Realist perspective, emphasizing the goose girl's working-class status, adolescent body, and vulnerable pose. Millet developed this composition through numerous studies made over a period of seven years.
circa 1863
oil on canvas
Height: 38 cm (15 in). Width: 46.5 cm (18.3 in). ; with frame: Height: 58.26 cm (22.9 in). Width: 66.68 cm (26.3 in). Depth: 11.43 cm (4.5 in).
Walters Art Museum
Accession number 37.153
Place of creation France
Object history

Ennemond Blanc [dealer], 1865, by purchase [from the artist]
Van Praet, Brussels [date and mode of acquisition unknown]
J. Saulnier, Bordeaux [date and mode of acquisition unknown]
Mme Vve. Saulnier Sale, Paris, 1886, no. 64 [illus. 29]
Sedelmeyer Sale, Paris, March 25, 1892, no. 10
Henri Heugel, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]
Henri Heugel Sale, Paris, May 26, 1905, no. 12
1905: purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore
1931: bequeathed to Walters Art Museum by Henry Walters

Exhibition history From Ingres to Gauguin: French Nineteenth Century Paintings Owned in Maryland. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1951. Birth of Impressionism. Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York. 1963. Man: Glory, Jest, and Riddle, A Survey of the Human Form Through the Ages. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco. 1964-1965. Before Monet: Landscape Painting in France and Impressionist Masters: Highlights from The Walters Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998. Drawn into the Light: Jean-François Millet. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown; The Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh; Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum, AJ Amsterdam. 1999-2000. Triumph of French Painting: Masterpieces from Ingres to Matisse. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton. 2000-2002. A Magnificent Age: Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2002-2004. The Road to Impressionism: Landscapes from Corot to Manet. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2004-2005. The Road to Impressionism: Barbizon Landscapes from the Walters Art Museum. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis; The Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh. 2008-2009. 19th Century Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum. Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin. 2010-2011.
Credit line Acquired by Henry Walters, 1905
Inscriptions Signature bottom left: J. F. Millet


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