Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice
For Art and Antique Auctions, standard shipments are being delayed 2-4 weeks due to increased safety procedures and vendor and carrier slowdowns. As soon as your order ships, you will receive a tracking number.


    Emile Munier (French, 1810-1895)
    The shepherdess, 1888
    Oil on canvas
    30 x 17-1/4 inches (76.2 x 43.8 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: E. Munier 1888

    L.A. Lanthier, New York, circa 1890-1910;
    Private collection, New York;
    Findlay Galleries, Kansas City, Missouri;
    Private collection, Tulsa, Oklahoma, acquired from the above;
    Thence by descent.

    This work is included in the online Émile Munier catalogue raisonné by Rehs Galleries, Inc.,

    Emile Munier was at the height of his career in the late 1880s, when he painted The shepherdess. An ardent proponent of French academic painting standards, Munier closely followed in the footsteps of his esteemed teacher, William-Adolphe Bouguereau. While he had honed his skills finely enough to mimic Bouguereau's meticulous attention to detail and delicate handling beautifully, Munier developed a distinctive personal touch that is always distinguishable in his work. He specifically was able to capture the fleeting expressions and subtle gestures of his subjects, such as a demure smile or a loving pat of an animal friend.

    From the start of his career, Munier was a decorated artist: he received three medals at the Beaux-Arts and in 1869 he exhibited at the Paris Salon. From 1886 onward, the artist and his family would take trips to Auvergne, in the southern French countryside. There, he became interested in scenes of children in rural situations, producing numerous scenes of young peasants and farm animals. Like his mentor, Bouguereau, Munier was drawn to the allegorical nature of a young shepherd or, in this case, shepherdess. Completed in 1888, the painting shows a young peasant girl taking a well-deserved break from her busy job tending sheep. Her canine companion keeps watch as she quietly amuses herself with a small wildflower, resting her staff on her shoulder. Her posture gives off an air of casual confidence: a young woman content with what she is doing. Similar to his signature images of young children and their domestic pets, Munier's depiction of the young woman offers the same sense of intimacy and youthful charm. Her direct, unflinching gaze welcomes the viewer with no ulterior motive: she is simply proud of her work.

    The shepherdess has been in the personal collection of a Tulsa, Oklahoma family for many years. In fact, just across town from where Munier's Shepherdess was displayed, a painting of a very similar subject by Munier's mentor, Bouguereau, and painted just a year later, hangs in the permanent collection of the Philbrook Museum of Art.

    Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000.

    Condition Report*: Glue lined canvas. Under raking light Two possible spots of in paint to the right arm and the skirt. Under UV exam: the varnish makes it difficult to discern possible past restoration but there is one speck of inpaint in the upper right quadrant; Scattered flecks of paint loss, most notably to the edges, As well as an apparent vertical line of flecks across the torso and on the left side of the fence.
    Framed Dimensions 38 X 24.5 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    4th Friday 9:50 am CT
    Auction Dates
    4th Friday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    4 Days 8h 18m 46s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: 26
    Page Views: 979

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    This lot is in: 1 - Signature® Floor Session (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 69001-69081) - 10:00 AM Central Time, Friday, December 4, 2020.
    (Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session.)

    Show All Session Information

    Show Auction Type Info

    Exhibition Viewing Times, Title Page, Floor Session and License Information

    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions
    2801 W. Airport Freeway
    Dallas, TX 75261

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Custom Domestic Shipping Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    *Reserve Not Met. A reserve has been posted on this lot, but no bids have met the reserve. The next bid will meet the reserve.

    Reserve Amount:
    Bid Protection
    w/ Buyer's Premium (BP) : $30,000.00 Minimum Next Bid: $24,000 ($30,000.00 w/ BP)
    Track Item