Louis Le Nain

Milkmaid's Family

Milkmaid's Family
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Louis Le Nain
Genre Painting, Painting, Oil on canvas, 51x59 cm
Origin: France, Circa 1641

Whilst during the first half of the 17th-century, French art was largely dominated by official painting, there was also a more modest trend, with artists chosing to depict peasants, craftsmen and tradesmen. One such artist was Louis Le Nain, represented here by one of his best works, The Milkmaid's Family.

A peasant family sets off for market in this unusual composition, its foreground raised up high such that we look at the figures from below, making them seem solid and monumental. Not linked by any common movement, gestures or looks, they form a compact group which stands out clearly against the landscape background, enveloped in a soft silvery light. Beneath the high cloudy sky a wide valley opens up, with fields, a village church and a low range of hills.

Source of entry: Provenance: between 1763 and 1774

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