Woman feeding a Millet cow

Woman feeding a Millet cow
Woman feeding a Millet cow

The realistic painting by the French artist Jean Françoise Millet always features completely anonymous characters and is set in rural and peasant settings. This is how his most famous and recognizable works are, such as El Angelus or Las Espigadoras. And so it is also in this 1858 work that he bears such an explanatory title asWoman feeding a cow

Woman grazing her Millet cow

Woman feeding her cow by Millet

He used these rural scenes and the characters he represented as artistic reproductions of real life, but still always included his special vision of that reality. And that special vision is that he always considers them as a kind of religious image. In all these scenes there is something of mysticism, and he achieves it by presenting us with peasants but in a very monumental way. They are figures in which we see their austerity, their great dignity and the seriousness of their people.

There is a halo of melancholy in these types of paintings. These capture it with an aesthetic of very sentimental tones. You can also see very clearly his effort to make these characters acquire monumentality, but at the same time you can see the tenderness that he feels towards those poor people who live by working hard in the fields. In fact, practically all of his pictorial production featured the peasants and ranchers of the countryside.French, something that differentiates him from other contemporary realist painters such as Honoré Daumier or Gustave Courbet, much more concerned with representing the humblest classes of the urban and industrial society that was emerging in those years.

On the other hand he always places them in simple landscapes. In past decades Romanticism artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, author of works such as Clarity in the Mountains, had painted grandiose landscapes, very pompous, with which it was not intended so much to represent nature as to serve as an element to convey their personal feelings. However,Milletpaints much simpler landscapes, although it is also true that he prefers more intimate settings. At first he did not give it so much importance, but with the passage of time he will increasingly give more prominence to those space settings. In fact Millet established contact with the painters of a later generation of the Barbizon School, especially interested in landscape paintings.

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