This is such a sweet painting by John Everett Millais. It shows a girl being watched by a mother duck and her ducklings. I love the soft pinks and pastel greens in this otherwise rather dark painting. The detail shots show the artist's handling of paint.
Millet was greatly influenced by the Pre Raphaelite movement. In the 1880s Millais received popularity for his portraiture, and his skillful depiction of the human form particularly shone in the depiction of young children.
Millais used to paint very detailed paintings, but later in life went for a more loose style. This can be seen by the handling of the hands.
This painting is titled "Ducklings", but it is unclear why the girl is shown holding a piece of paper and gazing out at the viewer, rather than interacting with the ducks. The child is clearly the focal point of the painting and I wonder if this painting started out as a study that was later changed to be more appealing to the Victorian taste of kids with animals.
The artist spent the least of time on the ducklings. They are quickly blocked in with color. We do not even see their wings just one eye and a little beak.