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Monday, 29 November 2010

Barbizon Artist, Millet: The Harsh Land & Work



The French artist, Jean-Francois Millet (1814 - 1875) believed in painting outdoors. However, although a member of the Barbizon school, he would observe the outdoors and then paint it in his studio. The Barbizon artists painted realism in art. Natural scenes became the subjects of their paintings. Millet painted peasants working in rural areas: similar to his own background. He painted workers in the fields with strong light. His powerful compositions and light influenced a number of artists, i.e. Van Gogh, Sisley. In his painting, The Gleaners (around 1857), Millet painted the workers gathering wheat left behind after the reaping. He paints the harsh, dry land. His use of strong lights and shadows contributes to an emotional image. The figures are weighted down. Millet shows the peasants trying to survive.

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