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Jules Bastien-Lepage often painted the peasants of his home town of Damvillers in north-eastern France. Here a young girl, the 'little wild girl' of the title, patiently and quietly guards a cow. Bastien makes the girl seem isolated, so very alone in the barren, winter landscape – she is dwarfed by the tall thistle and the leafless tree. There is also a feeling of sadness from her haunting eyes and the way she pulls her rags around her as if for warmth.
oil on canvas
H 162.5 x W 125.7 cm