MILLET, Jean-François
(b. 1814, Gruchy, d. 1875, Barbizon)

The Angelus

Oil on canvas, 56 x 66 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Millet met the group of painters at Barbizon in 1847, and here he found the most eloquent backdrop for his scenes of decent hard work and the life of poor farmers and labourers. Figures and compositions such as The Gleaners or the couple at prayer in The Angelus presented a passionately held socio-philisophical aesthetic in a pointed, almost confrontational manner; as time went by, they came to be seen worldwide as models for an agrarian art with ethical roots in the soil of home.