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The Peasant Family

MILLET, Jean-François (1814 - 1875)

The Peasant Family

Date: 1871-2

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 110.4 x 81.0 cm

Acquired: 1963; Bequest; Margaret Davies

Accession Number: NMW A 2473

Collection: The Davies Sisters Collection

Begun in 1871-72 but left unfinished, this haunting scene depicts a Norman peasant family in their farmyard. It embodies a primitivism which may draw upon Egyptian sculpture and Quattrocento paintings seen by Millet in the Louvre. The British painter Sickert commented: 'The sublime man and his stolid spouse face the spectator with all the gravity and symmetry of two caryatids, while the child essays, a baby Samson, the strength of the pillars of his house'. Margaret Davies purchased this work in 1911.

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