The Baker's Cart

Artist: Jean Michelin (French, ca. 1616–1670)

Date: 1656

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 38 3/4 x 49 3/8 in. (98.4 x 125.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1927

Accession Number: 27.59


Although depictions of peasants and popular life in rural settings were common in the mid-17th century, Michelin situates his subjects in an urban context.  The baker and his cart are prominent but the artist also presents others who sold their wares in the streets of Paris, such as the old woman offering medicinal eau-de-vie and the boy with a large basket on his back.  Little is known about Michelin but this painting has served as a fixed point in defining his oeuvre since his signature and a date were discovered during a cleaning of this canvas in the late 1920s.