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The Cover |

Spoiled Child

Janet M. Torpy, MD
JAMA. 2009;301(2):137. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.789.
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The curly locked boy, a miniature Frenchman, sneaks morsels of his food to a waiting dog while a woman indulgently gazes at the youngster, offering no remonstrance. This sweet domestic scene of pre-Revolution France unfolds, immortalized in Spoiled Child (cover). Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805) gave his audience a morality play on canvas disguised as a tableau full of warmth and detail. While alive, Greuze received commendation for his artistic sentimentality and moral pedagogy; his prolific output comprised paintings, drawings, and etchings that illuminated the often hedonistic lifestyles of the Bourbon reign.

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Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805), Spoiled Child (L’enfant gâté), 1765, French. Oil on canvas. 66.5×56 cm. Courtesy of The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia (http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/). Photograph ©The State Hermitage Museum.

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