The Shepherd & The Shepherdess: Rediscovering Romanticism in Art

Introduction to Romanticism Movement

During the 18th century, an artistic movement known as Romanticism spread throughout Europe, seeking to evoke an idealized world of rural simplicity in contrast to the urban, industrialized centers of the cities. This nostalgic vision of a peaceful countryside was expressed through various art forms, including oil paintings and lead garden statues. The subjects of these artworks often depicted shepherds, huntsmen, and other rural figures, presenting an idyllic way of life, particularly for urban audiences.

Meet the Vizcaya Shepherd and Shepherdess

The Vizcaya Shepherd and his companion are attributed to the talented sculptor John Cheere (1709-1787) and date back to the mid-18th century. Acquired in England in 1917, these figurines were brought to adorn the picturesque Vizcaya gardens. The Shepherd statue stands at an impressive 50 inches in height, exuding a sense of grandeur and significance.

The Shepherdess is delicately adorned in a laced-front dress, her apron neatly tied in the front, and her attire completed with a brimmed hat and buckle shoes. Her companion, the Shepherd, stands casually with crossed legs, donning breeches, a soft shirt, and an open jacket, all complemented by a similar hat and buckle shoes. Originally, each statue held an attribute that added to their narrative, but those attributes have been lost to time.


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