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The Cover
May 5, 2004

The Russian Cradle

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(17):2055. doi:10.1001/jama.291.17.2055

Not especially well known today, the French painter and printmaker Jean-Baptiste Le Prince (1734-1781) was famous enough in 18th-century Paris. Taught by his elder countryman François Boucher, inspired by the Dutch and Flemish genre painters of the 17th century, and fresh from his own five-year experience of living in Russia, Le Prince developed a type of painting not before seen in Paris: scenes of the daily life of the humble folk of the Russian countryside, executed with the surface detail and textures of his Dutch and Flemish forebears, and glossed with an idealism worthy of his master. With their fancy for all things Russian, the novelty-starved French aristocracy could not seem to get enough of Le Prince's work. Among the most popular of these so-called Russian genre paintings, or russeries as they were called, was The Russian Cradle (cover ). Completed around 1764, just two years after Le Prince's return to France, it became the model for numerous prints and drawings, as well as for decoration on the newly fashionable Sèvres porcelain.

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