The Milkmaid, 1510


Bequest of Herschel V. Jonesexpand_more  P.68.270

Not on Viewexpand_more

Traditionally, Lucas's The Milkmaid was hailed as one of the first pure, genre subjects in northern European art. Superficially, the shepherd and milkmaid are performing the mundane chores of rural, daily life. However, in subsequent scholarship, erotic overtones have been suggested --specifically, an allegory of lust and free will. The basis of this thesis is the word melkan (to milk) in 16th century Dutch connoted lokken (to lure). Lustful intent has been perceived in the poses and costumes of the figures, landscape details, and prominently placed cattle.

The Milkmaid
Artist Life
c. 1490 - 1533
Accession Number
Unidentified signature, 1926
Catalogue Raisonne
Holl.158; B.158
Curator Approved

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