“Bad News”

Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre18th century

Musée Nissim de Camondo

Musée Nissim de Camondo
Paris, France

Eighteenth-century artists turned their attention to mankind and human sensibility, and strove to depict the torments of the soul, paying particular attention to the joys and sorrows of love. The symbolism of the lost and found bird – open to various interpretions – was a popular theme on clocks in the late eighteenth century; a famous example was owned by Marie Antoinette. In the painting called “Bad News”, the young woman’s grief on reading her letter is matched by the vast expanse of her morning dress.


  • Title: “Bad News”
  • Creator: Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre
  • Date Created: 18th century
  • Rights: © MAD, Paris / photo: Jean Tholance
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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