The Sower

Millet, Jean-Francois

A French painter who was accused of Socialism because he chose to depict the hard life of peasant families. A French painter and graphic artist, born into a peasant family who lived near Cherbourg in Normandy, Millet studied art locally before moving to Paris in 1837. His early works were mainly genre paintings and mythological scenes but after The Winnower, a peasant subject, was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1848, Millet turned away from idealized rustic scenes and began to depict the hard toil of those who worked in the countryside. When The Sower was exhibited at the Salon of 1850 it produced some hostility and Millet was accused of Socialism. Millet rejected this accusation, saying his aim was ‘to make the trivial express the sublime’. [Concise Ox. Dict. Of Art and Artists] In 1849 Millet moved to Barbizon, a small village near the Forest of Fontainebleau, where he lived in poverty and continued to paint scenes of peasant life and landscapes. This lithograph was bought by the LACF in 1914.



Other pieces in our collection

Lamia No. 2

Sargent, Francis William

c. 1910, Sculpture: bronze, 31

Become a Friend to Art in Leeds

Show your support for arts in Leeds, enjoy exclusive membership benefits and help to acquire great art for the city. Join for as little as £20 per year.