- Millet, Jean-François
born Oct. 4, 1814, Gruchy, Francedied Jan. 20, 1875, BarbizonFrench painter.Born to a peasant family, he studied with a painter in Paris, but when one of his two submissions to the Salon was rejected (1840), he returned to Cherbourg, where initially he painted mostly portraits. His first success came with The Milkmaid (1844), and in 1848 another peasant scene, The Winnower, was shown at the Salon. In 1849 he settled in the village of Barbizon. Because he continued to exhibit peasant scenes that emphasized the labours of rustic life, he was accused of being a socialist, but his aims were not political. His Angelus (1859) became one of the most popular paintings of the 19th century. In his later life he was linked with the Barbizon school.
* * *▪ French painter [1642-79]byname Francisquebaptized April 27, 1642, Antwerp [Belgium]buried June 3, 1679, Paris, Fr.French painter whose serene landscapes made him one of the most influential followers of Nicolas Poussin in 17th-century France.Millet is generally classed among the painters of Flanders because of the location of his birth, but his father was a Frenchman who, while on service with the prince of Condé in Antwerp, apprenticed his son to a painter there. Francisque left with the painter for Paris, where he settled in 1660 after marrying his master's daughter. He was received as a member of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture at Paris in 1673.Francisque's paintings of Italian and Arcadian scenery, though derivative, were graceful and effective. Twelve of his most important landscapes in the Tuileries were destroyed by fire; and, though many of his pieces may still be found cataloged, a great number remain unknown and unacknowledged.▪ French painter [1814-75]born Oct. 4, 1814, Gruchy, near Gréville, Fr.died Jan. 20, 1875, BarbizonFrench painter renowned for his peasant subjects.Millet spent his youth working on the land, but by the age of 19 he was studying art in Cherbourg. 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. He achieved his first success in 1844 with “The Milkmaid” and a large pastel, “The Riding Lesson,” that has a sensual character typical of a large part of his production during the 1840s.The peasant subjects, which from the early 1850s were to be Millet's principal concern, made their first important appearance at the Salon of 1848 with “The Winnower,” later destroyed by fire. In 1849, after a period of great hardship, Millet left Paris to settle in Barbizon, a small hamlet in the forest of Fontainebleau. He continued to exhibit paintings of peasants, and, as a result, periodically faced the charge of being a socialist. Letters of the period defending Millet's position underline the fundamentally classical nature of his approach to painting.By the mid-1860s, Millet's work was beginning to be in demand; official recognition came in 1868, after nine major paintings had been shown at the exposition of 1867. Important collections of Millet's pictures are to be found in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and in the Louvre.
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