Émile Charles Dameron, The Young Shepherdess

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A beautiful oil on canvas depicting a young shepherdess watching over her flock by notable French realist, Emile Charles Dameron (1848-1908). With aptitude and a deft touch, Dameron has captured a delicate rural moment within a picturesque French landscape.

The main focal point is a young shepherdess that’s glancing down affectionately towards an inquisitive sheep. Her expression is one of quiet contentment as she rests her left hand on a moss-covered rock.

At her feet, the earth is awash with red flora, which arises from the dense grass and seems to wrap itself around the scene. While in the background, a series of small buildings are lit under an exquisite graduated sky. Each of these are little more than a few bright daubs of paint.

Dameron was born in Paris and trained under Léon Germain Pelouse (1838-1891) and the Barbizon school painter, Constant Troyon (1810-1865). He exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon, achieving a medal in 1881, and this rural scene is a good example of his work.

He’s primarily known for his accurate depictions of peasant life and won the Troyon prize in animal painting at the École des Beaux Arts. Many of his works are held in galleries worldwide and a small portrait recently sold at Sotheby’s for £8,057.

The painting is housed within a handsome 19th-century Rococo revival frame with swept corners and foliate decoration.

Signed in the lower right.

Oil on canvas
Size including frame
22” x 18½” / 56cm x 47cm
Year of creation
c. 1880
Areas of craquelure but the paint layer is stable. One small loss in the top left. Light scuffs around the periphery. Frame with minor losses.
Artist’s auction highlight
£11,900 achieved at Sotheby’s, USA, in 1996 for L'étang de Saint-Cucufa (150cm x 220cm).