Millet was born at Grouchy (Manche) and was a pupil of Paul Delaroche in Paris by 1837. For some years he painted chiefly idylls in imitation of 18th-century French painters. Becoming, like Honoré Daumier, increasingly moved by the spectacle of social injustice, Millet turned to peasant subjects and won his first popular success at the Salon of 1848 with 'The Winnower'. From the following year he was chiefly active at Barbizon and associated with the Barbizon school of landscape painters.
1814 - 1875
Paintings by Jean-François Millet
In a gloomy barn a winnower holds a wide, shallow basket with no lip at the front. With skilful shaking, the chaff could be worked to the front and tipped over the edge, leaving the grain behind. This painting is one of Millet’s first to treat the theme of peasant life. He exhibited it to some ac...
A woman sits on a rocky ledge, her head turned toward a young naked child presented in the guise of a putto or cupid. He is trying to attract her attention. This painting is an early example of the rural subject matter that Millet began to explore in around 1845, and which by 1847 formed a substa...
Not on display