Louise Moillon

Still Life with a Basket of Fruit and a Bunch of Asparagus

  • Louise Moillon (French, 16101696)
  • Oil on panel, 53.3 x 71.3 cm
  • 1630
  • Art Institute of Chicago; Wirt D. Walker Fund, 1948.78

The Artist

Born into a family of artistsher father and her stepfather were painters and art dealers, and her brother Isaac was a painterLouise Moillon specialized in still life painting, especially of fruits and vegetables. Her patrons included members of the French nobility, and even Charles I of England. Because she was a French Protestant, her life was disrupted by the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. According to one source, at least one of her children converted to Catholicism, while two others sought refuge in England.

Most of the 40 or so works attributed to her today are from before 1640, though a few are from the 1670s. Though many of these attributed paintings are held by private collectors, some are owned by museums. These include, in addition to the Art Institute of Chicago (see below), at least: The Norton Simon Museum, The Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Louvre, Musée des Augustins de Toulouse, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. As of November 2022, we can add to this list the Kimbell Art Museum.

Learn more about Moillon’s painting Still Life with a Basket of Fruit and a Bunch of Asparagus: Art Institute of Chicago

Current and past exhibitions featuring Louise Moillon:

Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400–1800 at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 30–July 1, 2024. The show was on previously (October 1, 2023–January 7, 2024) at the Baltimore Museum of Art

Books about Louise Moillon


Forthcoming: Louise Moillon, by Lesley Stevenson (Lund Humphries, 2024; North American edition to be published by Getty Publications, 2024). Click here for the advance review on the Scholarly Skater blog.

Louise Moillon: Seventeenth-Century Still-life Artist, by Helen Chastain Sowa (Chateau Publishing, 1998)

Louyse Moillon. Still-lifes in the Grand Siècle. Catalogue raisonné by Dominique Alsina (Dijon Faton, 2008)

Learn more online about Louise Moillon at:

The National Museum of Women in the Arts: Explore >

Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza: Explore >

Musée virtuel du protestantisme: Explore >

La Gazette Drouot: Explore >


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