Paysannes aux broussailles (c.1852)

Millet, Jean-François (1814-1875)

Paysannes aux broussailles (Peasant Women with Brushwood)
Oil on canvas, 37.5 x 29.5 cm
Hermitage MuseumSaint Petersburg

Millet devoted his talent to the depiction of scenes from peasant life, and this is a typical example of his work. Being of peasant origin, Millet knew from his own experience the hard rural life. Here two women in rough homespun clothes and wooden clogs, bent beneath the weight of their load, are returning home in the twilight along a forest road. Their low-sunk heads and bent backs, the slow steps and hands tightly gripping the cord tell us of the utmost tension of their force. Using dark subdued colouring, the artist rendered the evening illumination which softens the outlines of the figures and makes them blend with the landscape. (SHM)