The Shepherd and the Sea, 1883
A shepherd was happy until tempted by the prospect of riches. He sold his flock and invested in merchant trade. He lost everything in a shipwreck and returned to his shepherd’s life. Looking out to sea, he declared to the ships that they could never tempt him again.
The gradation of blues, oranges, reds and pinks, which glow against areas of unpainted paper, recalls the work of J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851), whose paintings were much admired in 19thcentury France. The Shepherd and the Sea also bears witness to Moreau’s use of photography in the preparation of his works: the dog and some of the sheep were copied from photographs still in the Musée Gustave Moreau, Paris.