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Artwork of the Week: May 31

Knud Sinding “The Shepherd

Knud Sinding (1875-1946),

The Shepherd, no date, oil on canvas, 17 x 22 7/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift from the collection of Ira and Mary Lou Fulton, 2015.

Knud Sinding was one of many Danish artists who sought to honor the academic tradition of realism while employing more modernist theories relating to subject and color. Here Sinding paints a young barefoot boy, dressed in dusty and ill-fitting overalls, shielding his face from the warm light of the afternoon sun. A devoted sheep stands beside the youthful shepherd. The painting exemplifies Sinding’s ability to truthfully capture his subjects and render textures with a tactile precision. Nevertheless, the pull towards the avant-garde is clearly evident. Sinding’s painterly style can be seen in his use of bold brushstrokes to depict the flowering field, the sheep, and the grove of trees in the distance. He also experiments with strong pops of color, like the honey highlights on the sheep’s thick wool and the blue tones in the grass and the boy’s overalls.