Jean-Francois Millet 1814 - 1875


Millet was viewed as a peasant painter. He disliked the noise and frantic lifestyle of Paris. In 1849, he moved to a small village named Barbizon located on the edge of the Fontainbleau forest. This is where many other artists, such as Diaz and Theodore Rousseau had previously settled.

The Musee du Luxembourg exhibited the Eglise de Greville only after Millet's death. The problem Millet faced was that the administration found his style of painting and techniques to be shocking, especially by their choice of subjects. The Luxembourg preferred serious art, not art that contained nudes, peasant workers. Millet also preferred to study people rather than the forest, unlike other Barbizon painters.

When Millet tried to exhibit the Les Glaneuses, he caused a scandal. Many people felt his subject matter of the "fates of pauperism" was not traditional.

Millet also played the interpreter between the School of Fontainebleau and the Realists. Most of his work was completed at the Barbizon school. He loved painting in the open air, especially the forest. He created a new technique of incorporating the working class and portraits, thus creating a new social look in which art did not conform with the Academy.

Paintings by Jean-Francois Millet

  • The Gleaners - 1848
  • The Walk to Work - 1851
  • L'Angelus - 1857/59
  • Shepherdess with Her Flock - 1864
  • La Fileuse, Chevriere Auvergnate -1868/69
  • Le Printemps - 1868/73
  • L'Eglise de Greville -1871/74
  • Le Bouquet de Marguerites 1871/74
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