Bourdon was a major figure in the 17th century French art world and went on to be one of the twelve founding members of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris in 1648.

His style was constantly susceptible to outside influences and he was particularly affected by the severe classicism of Nicolas Poussin, who had returned to Paris for two years 1640-42. This is one of a small group of paintings produced by Bourdon in Paris after his return from Rome. In their everyday subject-matter they were very much influenced by the Roman works of Pieter van Laer and his followers. They also parallel the moving peasant scenes painted in France by the Le Nain family of artists. In a 1987 article Denys Sutton observed: 'Sébastien Bourdon, chameleon as he was, was led towards a vision of the silent peasant world that forms one of the sweetest and most pleasing aspects of the seventeenth centuryÂ…' This painting perfectly mirrors SuttonÂ’s remarks. This work is the first Bourdon to enter the Scottish national collection and expands the scope of French 17th century works which include works by Poussin, Claude and Dughet.


Gosta Stenamn, 1933; Swedish private collection, 2004; Didier Aaron.

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