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The art of sleuthing

Not long ago, BYU’s Museum of Art acquired a painting for their “Beholding Salvation” exhibition that depicts shepherds admiring the new-born Christ. There’s just one problem – it’s not completely certain who painted the scene in “Adoration of the Shepherds.”

Enter BYU undergrad Caroline Larson, an art history major and recipient of an ORCA grant to investigate the top suspect, French Baroque painter Eustache Le Sueur.

The Louvre, which holds 40 of Le Sueur’s known works, is where Larson will spend two months studying the Parisian’s artistry. She will also compare those techniques to those of Le Sueur’s contemporaries to see if elements of “Adoration of the Shepherds” reflect his distinctive style.

“We are eager to establish a more complete provenance for this painting,” said Dawn Pheysey, curator of religious art at the Museum of Art. “We look forward to seeing Caroline’s research and are certainly willing to assist her in any way that we can.”

Museum visitors can see the painting for themselves; it hangs next to the museum’s signature piece, Carl Heinrich Bloch’s “Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda.”

Writer: Rebecca McOmber


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