The Oak and the Reed by Achille Michallon

The handling of the paint shows a nice contrast between the realistic depiction of the blasted oak where Michallon is clearly indebted to the example of Jacob Ruisdael, and the fluid freedom of the reed with its decorative quality reminiscent of Boucher.


Oil on canvas
44 x 54 cm
Art Fund grant:
£19,000 ( Total: £76,000)
Acquired in:
James Mackinnon

The subject matter of the painting is taken from a fable by La Fontaine and, noting the year it was painted, 1816, it is hard not to conclude that it was chosen as a commentary on the fall of Napoleon.


Sale in Paris, 1942; James Mackinnon.

Venue details

Fitzwilliam Museum Trumpington Street, CAMBRIDGE Cambridgeshire CB2 1RB 01223 332900

Entry details

Free to all

Tue – Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun & Bank Holidays 12noon – 5pm Closed Mon, 24 – 26, 31 Dec and 1 Jan