Jean Francois Millet - The GleanersOil on canvas, 1857, 84 x 111 cm,, Musée d'Orsay in Paris

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Description and interpretation of the famous painting 'The Gleaners' by Jean Francois Millet!

Jean Francois Millet - The Gleaners

Millet studied the motif for ten years until this occupation finally came to an end in this work. The life of the peasants and the rural proletariat was a popular theme of the painter.

It's already evening in this picture. The sun has bathed the surroundings in a reddish light. The ladies shown here have permission to pick up the remaining ears of grain on the mowed fields. How ritualized this happens is shown by the almost parallel arranged women reaching for the ears of corn. The right lady has already straightened up, but continues to bend her back to search the ground for food with her gaze.

Haystacks, sheaves, wagons and numerous harvesters are in the background as a contrast. A caretaker on horseback can also be seen - he overlooks and controls what is happening.

Millet's view of the hard fate of the gleaners is consistently tender - the peasant women blend homogeneously into the light-flooded environment; they appear almost graceful in their almost meditative occupation.

© the artinspector / alexandra tuschka