Jul 10, 2007

Return from the Fields

Return from the Fields

c. 1846–47

Jean-François Millet

(French, 1814–1875)

Oil on fabric

Framed: 68 x 60 x 10 cm (26 3/4 x 23 5/8 x 3 15/16 in.); Unframed: 46.2 x 37.8 cm (18 3/16 x 14 7/8 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1972.19



This idealized vision of noble peasant life was painted during a period of intense industrialization in France, accompanied by economic depression and the abandonment of farms. Nostalgic peasant scenes were especially popular in the 1840s, a stark contrast to the disillusionment and tension that would violently surface in the Revolution of 1848. The vague shapes and faces of the family seen here make them symbols of the land, rather than individuals.

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