The Wolf and the Fox

Object Details

Title:

The Wolf and the Fox

Artist/Maker(s):

Jean-Baptiste Oudry (French, 1686 - 1755)

Culture:

French

Date:

1733

Medium:

Brush and black ink and brush and gray wash, heightened with white gouache, on blue paper

Dimensions:

31.1 x 26 cm (12 1/4 x 10 1/4 in.)

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A fox, tired of eating chicken, asks a wolf how to hunt larger animals. The wolf teaches the fox to disguise himself as a wolf, and together they stalk a herd of sheep. The shepherd flees with his flock, leaving behind a sacrificial lamb. For his illustration of the tale, Jean-Baptiste Oudry chose the moment when the lamb figures out the plot. To the wolf's dismay, the lamb fools the fox by directing it to chase a rooster. The fable's moral is that to change one's basic nature is impossible.

Though he worked as a tapestry designer, Oudry labored in his spare time over a five-year period to produce 276 illustrations for Jean de La Fontaine's Fables, a popular collection of satires written in the 1600s. Oudry's drawings were published in a luxury edition of the Fablesin 1755.

Exhibitions
Carmontelle's Transparency: An 18th Century Motion Picture (March 14 to June 18, 2006)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 14 to June 18, 2006
Oudry's Painted Menagerie (May 1 to February 24, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 1 to September 2, 2007
Capturing Nature's Beauty: Three Centuries of French Landscapes (July 28 to November 1, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 28 to November 1, 2009