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Jean-François Millet

By: Camara Douglas.

Jean Francois Millet was born and raised in Gréville-Hague, France. Jean was born October 4, 1814. Jean spent his youth working on the land, but by the age of 19 he was studying art in Cherbourg, France. Jean Francois Millet's parents are Jean-Louis, Nicolas and his mother's name is  Aimée, Henriette, Adélaïde. Jean Francois have 8 siblings and their names  are Augustine, Emélie, Bernardine , Elie, Alexandre, Eugène, Jeanne, Marie, Emélie, Louise, Henriette, Colombe , Jean, Louis, Auguste , Jean-Louis, Nicolas , Jean, Baptiste , Pierre, Paul, Auguste . Jean started painting in 1837 he arrived in Paris and eventually enrolled in the studio of Paul Delaroche, where he seems to have remained until 1839. After the rejection of one of his entries for the Salon of 1840, Millet returned to Cherbourg, where he remained during most of 1841, painting portraits. Jean was influenced by whose humble manner of living stands in stark contrast to the impact his work had on many artists who succeeded him, saw Godliness and virtue in physical labor.

Jean Francois Millet style and movement of his  artwork is Realism, Barbizon school,and Naturalism.  The work influenced Vincent van Gogh's The Potato Eaters of 1885, and served as a catalyst for his return to painting, so great was his admiration.

Six painting by Jean Francois Millet are:

The Gleaners

The date that The Gleaners was painted was 1857. The Gleaners are located at the Musée d'Orsay. It depicts three peasant women gleaning a field of stray stalks of wheat after the harvest. 

The Angelus

The Angelus is an oil painting by Jean-Francois Millet, completed between 1857 and 1859. The Angelus is located at the Musée d'Orsay Station or the Musée d'Orsay. The painting depicts two peasants bowing in a field over a basket of potatoes to say a prayer, the Angelus, that together with the ringing of the bell from the church on the horizon marks the end of a day's work.

The Sower

The painting was created in 1850. The Sower is located at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. At the very beginning of his career, he wrote that “I must draw diggers, sowers, men & women at the lough, without cease… I no longer stand as helpless before nature as I used to do.” 

 The Winnower

The painting was created in 1848. The Winnower is located at the Musée d'Orsay Station. Both the colors worn by the winnower (red, white and blue) and the subject of winnowing itself (the act of separating the chaff from the grain), may have been intended to have a political meaning. 

 Potato Planters

The painting was created in 1861. The Potato Planters is located a the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Millet gives the harsh reality of their lives beauty and dignity, placing his solidly modeled, harmonious figures before a hazy landscape just beginning to green in the spring sun. 

The Wood Sawyers

The painting was created in 1852. The Wood Sawyers is located at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This painting is a fine example of Millet's peasants scenes for which he is best known. It depicts two men sawing a large trunk while another is chopping trees in the background.  

My favorite paintings from Jean-François Millet are:

Man with a Hoe

He is dirty and he looks very exhausted by the way he is bending over and lending on the hoe. It looks like he was doing back-breaking work of turning this rocky, thistle-ridden earth into a effective field like the one being worked in the distance. The colors that dominate is black, white, and brown chalk on buff paper. This painting appeal to me because it the depicts an exhausted peasant man working in a field. This painting make me think about slavery times when the least fortunate had to do all the work. 

A Norman Milkmaid at Gréville

The female figure stands out there is kinda clear, especially yellow sky. She is walking through a narrow path through the grass. And she is wearing a white blouse and a grey skirt. The colors that dominate is the yellow, black, and the the green. This painting appeals to me because this was one of Jean- Francois Millet's last paintings, it was a subject that interested him throughout his life. This painting looks makes me think of slavery times because she is getting water and she looks tired.