The Shepherdess (French: Pastourelle), also known as The Little Shepherdess, is a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau completed in 1889. The title is taken from the Southern French dialect. The painting depicts an idyllic, pastoral scene of a lone young woman in peasant attire posed for the artist, balancing a stick (likely her crook) across her shoulders, standing barefooted in the foreground. In the background are oxen grazing in a field.
|Medium||oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||158.75 cm × 93.35 cm (62.50 in × 36.75 in)|
|Location||Philbrook Museum of Art|
It is one of many paintings by Bouguereau depicting shepherdesses, including one of the same name created in 1881. The subject is a model employed by Bouguereau for this and other paintings, including The Bohemian.
The Shepherdess is currently in the permanent collection at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, where it has become an emblematic image for the museum. It was the central image of a travelling exhibition about Bouguereau and his students that Philbrook created in 2006.
- Mary Thomas, "A vision of beauty and light: The Frick explores the idealized images of Bouguereau and his American students", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 3, 2007. (". . . a Bouguereau in the Philbrook, 'The Little Shepherdess,' became 'the signature image for that museum.' The Philbrook's . . . curator of European and American art, decided to organize an exhibition to put the painting -- 'a community icon' -- into a larger context, Bodine says.")
- Lashonda Stinson, "Exhibit showcases works of William Bouguereau and his students", Star-Banner, February 11, 2007.
- James Frederick Peck, In the Studios of Paris: William Bouguereau & His American Students (Philbrook Museum of Art, 2006), ISBN 978-0300114133. Listing at Google Books here.