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  » Oct 21, 2017  

Terry Amburgey
"Train Station"

 
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  Jean François Millet

Jean François Millet Jean Francois Millet (October 4, 1814 - January 20 1875) was a famous French painter. He is celebrated for his scenes of peasant farmers. Millet was one of the founders and leaders of the Barbizon school of painters in rural France. He can be labeled as part of two movements - 'Naturalism' and 'Realism'.

Millet was the first born of parents Jean-Louis-Nicolas and Aimee-Henriette-Adelaide Henry Millet. They were part of the peasant community in the village of Gruchy in Greville-Hague, Normandy. Millet studied in Cherbourg and Paris in his early years. In 1840 he began his career as a portrait painter. He was married the following year and moved to paris. After his wife's death he returned to Cherbourg in 1843 and in 1845 moved to Le Havre with Catherine Lemaire - his future wife and the mother of his nine children.
It was in the mid-1840s in Paris where Millet made friends with other artists who, like Millet, would become involved with the Barbizon school. An exhibition of his painting 'Oedipus Taken Down From The Tree' was his first success in 1847 and in 1848 his 'Winnower' was bought by the government. In 1850 Millet settled in Barbizon with Catherine and their children. During this year, Millet exhibited 'Haymakers' and 'The Sower', his first major masterpiece and the earliest of the iconic trio of paintings that would include 'The Gleaners' and 'The Angelus'.
During the years from 1850 through 1853 Millet worked on the painting that earned him official recognition - 'Harvesters Resting' (Ruth and Boaz). He considered this painting his most important - marking his passage from the portrayal of symbolic imagery of peasant life to that of contemporary social conditions.
Millet's reputation and success increased through the 1860s. He was a significant source of inspiration for Van Gogh. Millet's late landscape paintings became influential sources of reference to Monet's work of the coast of Normandy as well.


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