Drawings by Jean-François Millet

Jean-François MilletStudy of Peasants at Work© RMN
"You know the first drawing I ever did back home, without master, model or guide: it is still there in my studio, I have never done anything since." This confession - real or invented - by Jean-François Millet quoted by his first biographer, Alfred Sensier (La vie et l'oeuvre de Jean-François Millet, Paris, 1881, p. 40) was intended to establish nature-study and direct observation as the true path to realism. It intentionally masked the artist's erudition, his meditations on the works of the masters - after whom he still drew late into his career - and the importance of studio studies; the carefully thought-out and composed preliminaries to Salon paintings. This presentation of some fifty drawings, taken from the Museum collections, allows visitors to appreciate the complexity of Millet's work as a draughtsman and the artist's crucial role in the development of French drawing in the mid-19th century.


Marie-Pierre Salé, curator, Musée d'Orsay.


48/14, La revue du musée d'Orsay, issue # 22, Spring 2006
Musée d'Orsay / Réunion des musées nationaux
€ 11

30 May - 3 September 2006
Musée d'Orsay

Graphic Arts Gallery

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