Leon Jean Basile Perrault (French, 1832-1908)
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Lot 0135 Details
Leon Jean Basile Perrault (French, 1832-1908), "Child with Kittens", 1886, oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right, 44 in. x 32 3/4 in., framed with artist and title plaque. Note: A student of William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Francois-Edouard Picot, Leon Jean Basile Perrault honed his artistic skills at the Académie des Beaux-Arts and Académie Julien in Paris. While well-regarded for his military, religious and allegorical paintings, he is most celebrated for his genre scenes of beautiful children such as the one offered in the lot presented here. The young girl sits atop a stone ledge, on her lap are three kittens, and to her side is the mother cat tending to her brood. In rendering the figure of the girl, Perrault utilizes a classic triangular composition to capture an idealized vision of a peasant child in the countryside, popular in Salon paintings of France during the time period. His subject is dressed in simple clothes and barefoot, although has the flawless skin and coral necklace of a wealthier class. She bears a knowing smile while gazing directly at the viewer, the end result a touchingly intimate portrayal of simple French country life.