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Winter - The Faggot Gatherers

MILLET, Jean-François (1814 - 1875)

[image: Winter - The Faggot Gatherers]

Date: 1868-75

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 82.0 x 100.0 cm

Acquired: 1952; Bequest; Gwendoline Davies

Accession Number: NMW A 2478

Collection: The Davies Sisters Collection

This stark image of rural hardship depicts three heavily laden women returning in the darkness from collecting firewood. The subject is one which Millet revisited in sketches over the course of several years. This painting, however, remained unfinished. It is possible that it represented ‘Winter’ in a group of the four seasons. Millet painted over a female portrait which is partly visible on the right.

2 comments

Amgueddfa Cymru on 1 June 2009, 10:07 (Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Staff)

Dear Carolin, Wikipedia has the following definition of 'faggot':
A faggot or fagot is a bundle of sticks or branches, usually meant for use as firewood. It derives through the Old French fagot and the Italian diminutive fagotto from the Latin Fasces ("bundle", also the origin of the word Fascism), coming into Middle English no later than 1279.

Carolin Malone on 1 June 2009, 10:04

I can't seem to find out what faggots are. I thought it refered to a bundle as a bouquet garni but since the description above says "with a bundle of faggots", it must refer to something else. Can you enlighten me as to what they are carrying? Thank You!

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