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Paint in the Light: Jean-Francois Millet Essay

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In a time when many people were rejecting a Biblical worldview and instead chasing after worldly philosophies, French artist Jean-Francois Millet offered a piercing light in the midst of a desperately dark time. Growing up in a relatively poor home gave Millet an appreciation for the hard work that poor people did to survive; an appreciation that came out in the numerous works he completed. In addition, through his works, this artist showed that he grasped the importance of everyday work in the Kingdom of God, and the fact that every individual human life has importance and meaning.
Famed Realism artist Jean-Francois Millet was born into a peasant family in the little town of Greville in 1814 (Pioch). Desiring to grow in his artistic academics, Millet went to several different schools to learn how to paint. He studied in Cherbourg in 1833, and eventually moved to Paris to finish his scholastic endeavors in 1839 (Encyclopedia Britannica). In 1841 he married a woman named Pauline-Virginie Ono, but she tragically died in 1843. Deciding to try again, Millet married a second time, this time to a certain Catherine Lemaire. They remained married until Millet’s death (Herman). In the total time of his marriages, Millet had nine children, but had a difficult time raising them, due to the fact that he had a very hard time making money off of his painting career alone (Herman). At the end of his life, Millet lived in the village of Barbizon, where he died in 1875, known for being a voice of the peasants in his artistic endeavors.
As mentioned, Millet showed a vocal appreciation for the peasant class in his artistic works. Many of his paintings such as Winnower, or the Gleaners simply portray people of the poor class working diligently (En...


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...rtain appreciation he painted of the working lower class in works like The Sower. And he also showed that all human life is sacred, since all humans are made in the image of God. Finally, Millet displayed in his works an understanding that all work can be done to glorify God and advance His holy kingdom. Millet’s works show that he painted in the light of the truths of God’s Kingdom.



Works Cited

Harris, Beth & Zucker, Steven. “Millet’s L’Angelus”. Smarthistory, 2013. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.
Herman, Debra J. “The Gleaners by Jean Francois Millet”. Concordia University. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.
Jean-Francois Millet. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc, 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.
Pearcey, Nancy. Saving Leonardo. Nashville; B & H Publishing, 2010. Print.
Strickland, Carol. The Annotated Mona Lisa. Kansas City; Andrew McMeel Publishing LLC, 2007. Print.



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