Imaging childhood in eighteenth-century France: Greuze's Little Girl with a Dog.
Art Bulletin, 91(4) pp. 426–445.
During the artist’s own lifetime, Child Playing with a Dog was one of Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s most admired and best known works. The painting represents the physical, instinctual nature of the child in a manner unprecedented in French art. The image of childhood that it offers has close parallels in the scientific and medical discourse of the later eighteenth century. Like many contemporary commentators, Greuze does not simply evoke the innocence of children but also their vulnerability, above all that of little girls. He thereby implicates the spectator in the child’s fate, both for good and ill.
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