Jean-François Millet

Jean-François_Millet_-_Gleaners_-_Google_Art_Project_2I recently learned of Jean-François Millet, a rather good 19th century painter with an eye for the grim dignity of the French peasantry.

From the Wikipedia listing of the above painting, The Gleaners:

The Gleaners (Des glaneuses) is an oil painting by Jean-François Millet completed in 1857. It depicts three peasant women gleaning a field of stray grains of wheat after the harvest. The painting is famous for featuring in a sympathetic way what were then the lowest ranks of rural society; this was received poorly by the French upper classes.

Millet was a good man of his craft, more of a realist on poverty than viewing them with biblical or socialist eyes. There are better artists out there in his time, both Christian and pagan. But I would be pleased if Christian artists of today would at least attempt to rise to his level of an honest, true, well-crafted presentation of reality.


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