Category Archives: Barbizon School

Jean-François Millet – The Peasant Painter

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Jean Francois Millet was born on October 4, 1814, to Jean-Louis-Nicolas and Aimée-Henriette-Adélaïde Henry Millet. Jean Francois began his life in a quiet French village called Gruchy (located in Gréville-Hague, or Normandy). It’s doubtful that the members of the small village had any idea that Millet would mature to become a notable, if not revered painter.

Two village priests saw to Millet’s education, and under their guidance the young Jean Francois became familiar with modern authors and Latin. In 1833 he was sent to study at Cherbourg with Paul Dumouchel, a portrait painter. In just two short years Millet was studying with Lucien-Théophile Langlois, who was a pupil of Baron Gros. The time spent in Cherbourg afforded Jean Francois much opportunity to glean artistic guidance from his mentors.

www.segmation.comIn 1837 Jean Francois Millet moved to Paris. This was made possible in part by the stipend he was receiving from Langlois. While in Paris, Millet studied with Paul Delaroche at the École des Beaux-Arts. Jean Francois did not realize the artistic success he sought at the École des Beaux-Arts. His scholarship was removed in 1839. Millet’s artwork was also rejected by the Salon (the École des Beaux-Arts’ art exhibition) that year. The young artist’s lack of success was short-lived, and in 1840 the Salon accepted one of his portraits.

Millet moved back to Cherbourg and became a professional portraitist in 1840. The artist married Pauline-Virginie Ono, whom he returned to Paris with, the following year. Tragically, consumption took Pauline’s life in a very short time span. Jean Francois married again in 1853, this time to Catherine Lemaire. He and Lamaire had nine children and stayed married throughout Millet’s life.

After moving to Paris with his wife, Catherine, Millet became friends with artists Charles Jacque, Narcisse Diaz, Constant Troyon, and others. Jean Francois, along with these men, would later associate himself with the Barbizon school.

Jean Francois Millet began to build some artistic notoriety around 1847 when the Salon exhibited his painting titled Oedipus Taken Down from the Tree. His success bled into the following year when the French government purchased Winnower. Also in 1848, the Salon exhibited The Captivity of the Jews in Babylon.www.segmation.com

The Captivity of the Jews in Babylon was met with much criticism, and it was believed for a while that the artist disposed of it himself. It was later discovered that Millet re-used the canvas, covering Captivity with The Young Shepherdess. This probably took place during the Franco-Prussian War.

Millet continued to polish his craft, and in 1849 he painted Harvesters and put Shepherdess Sitting at the Edge of the Forest on exhibition. Shepherdess Sitting marked an artistic milestone for Millet as it was more realistic than his prior “idealized pastoral subjects.”

1850 was a particularly abundant year for Millet. First, Sensier began to trade art materials for drawings and paintings created by Millet, who was also paid for his creations. At the same time, Jean Francois was permitted to sell his works to the public. Also in 1850, Millet displayed The Sower and Haymakers. The Sower is acknowledged as the artist’s “first major masterpiece.”

Jean Francois painted The Gleaners in 1857. This piece is probably Millet’s best-known work, and for good reason. The piece is characterized by a warm golden tone and invites viewers into the daily life of a poverty-stricken gleaner. Millet had a true talent for portraying hardships while at the same time highlighting the beauty that lies within pain.

Jean Francois Millet died on January 20, 1875. He left behind an incredible legacy of artistic excellence. It is amazing to consider that Millet was not born to a family of wealth or title, yet he ended his life as a master painter. This makes Jean Francois Millet not only a superb artist, but also a true inspiration. Do you have a favorite artist that has inspired you?

Sources:
http://www.britannica.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-François_Millet

http://www.getty.edu/

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Camille Corot – French Landscape Artist (www.segmation.com)

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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (July 17, 1796 – February 22, 1875) was the leading landscape painter of the 19th century French Barbizon School. His fresh, spontaneous approach to landscape broke the academic tradition and opened the doors to Impressionism.

Corot was born in Paris, the second of three children. His mother was a milliner and his father, a draper, managed her shop. Corot’s father wanted his son to follow in his footsteps, but after a short stint as an apprentice, and at the age of 25, he informed his parents that he wanted to become a full-time painter. His father didn’t approve, but was supportive and gave the young Corot a small annual allowance that had been destined for his youngest sister who had died in 1821.

The young Corot studied first in the studio of neo-classical landscape painter Achille-Etna Michallon then, in 1822, under Jean-Victor Bertin, Michallon’s teacher. Corot, however, preferred sketching outdoors from nature and made extensive studies of the forests near Paris and the Normandy seaports.

Following the tradition of most young French painters, Corot traveled to Italy in 1825 to study the Italian masters. His parents financed the trip on condition that he paint a self-portrait for them. He stayed in Italy for three formative and productive years: he produced over 200 drawings and 150 paintings. He painted historical monuments and scenery from nature. Under the intensity of the Italian sun, he learned to master the pictorial rendition of light. Corot visited Italy again in 1834 where he sketched Florence, Venice and the northern cities and he made another trip in the summer of 1843.

It was not only the Italian scenery and light that had Corot entranced. He was quite captivated by Italian women whom he painted in their regional costumes. Yet Corot never married. In 1826 he wrote to a friend that he wished to devote his entire being to painting and that he would never marry. He never formed a long-term relationship with a woman and remained close to his parents well into his fifties.

Upon his return to France, Corot concentrated on exhibiting at the official Salon, adapting and reworking some of his Italian paintings. One of these, The Bridge at Narni, was accepted to the 1827 Salon while Corot was still in Italy. For the next six years Corot would spend the spring and summer painting out of doors. In winter he would rework these outdoor sketches in his studio into large landscapes for exhibition at the Salon.

Corot was now a regular exhibitor at the Salon. In 1833, when he was in his late thirties, the Salon jury accepted a large landscape of the Fontainebleau forest and even awarded the painting a second-class medal. This meant that Corot now had the right to exhibit his works without approval by the jury. In 1835 Corot exhibited another important work, a biblical scene of Hagar in the Wilderness. It was a success with the critics, but his other biblical paintings did not meet with the same triumph.

Throughout the 1840s the critics were ambivalent about Corot’s paintings. Recognition came slowly and, although the state purchased one of his works in 1840 he did not sell many paintings. Nevertheless, Corot’s popularity was growing and after the 1848 Revolution his treatment by the critics improved. The French government awarded Corot the Legion of Honor medal in 1846 and in 1848 he was awarded another second-class medal by the Salon. In that same year Corot was a member of the Salon Jury and the state bought a few more of his paintings for French museums.

Corot was close to the Barbizon group and, after his parents’ death, he felt free to take on students. A constant stream of friends, collectors and visitors passed through his studio. His students included future Impressionists Berthe Morisot and Camille Pissarro.

Corot died in Paris of a stomach disorder at the age of 78 and was buried at the Père Lachaise cemetery.

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Camille Corot – French Landscape Artist


Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875) was a French Landscape painter who had a strong influence on Impressionism. Corot was the leading painter of the Barbizon school of France in the mid-nineteenth century and his landscape style referenced a neo-classical style with a muted color palette. Many forgeries of Corot were created in the period 1870-1939, mostly because of his easy to imitate style. Our pattern set includes many examples of landscapes and portraits.

You’ll find “Woman with a Pear”, “The Bridge at Narmi”, “Meditation”, “Orpheus Leading Eurydice”, “Interrupted Reading”, “Recollections of Mortefontaine”, “A Windmill in Montmartre “, “The Letter”, ” Aqueducts in the Roman Campagna “, “Temple of Minerva Medica “, “Agostina”, and “Castel Gandolfo”. There are also several self portraits.

This set contains 50 paintable patterns.

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