Jean-François Millet was born on October 4, 1814 in Gréville-Hague near Cherbourg in Normandy. The French painter, known for his rural motifs, was a representative of the realism and adherents of the Barbizon School (a group of landscape painters who have withdrawn in the Barbizon area in order to be inspired by nature). He made his first steps as a painter in Cherbourg with the artist Lucien Théophile Ange Sosthène Langlois de Chèvreville. In 1837, the municipality of Cherbourg granted him a scholarship, which enabled him to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he enrolled in the studio of Paul Delaroche.
In 1839 his scholarship ended and his first submission to the Paris Salon was denied. In 1840, his painting is finally presented at the Paris Salon. Nevertheless, the artist lived for some time between Paris and Cherbourg, where he felt comfortable painting portraits, self-portraits and mythological scenes.
In 1849, Millet settled in Barbizon. He became friends with Constant Troyon, Narcisse Diaz, Charles Jacque and Theodore Rousseau, who were among the artists of the Barbizon School. Although Jean-François' father was a wealthy farmer, the young artist also worked a lot in the countryside. Hard work and poverty, fields and fields were not foreign to him. As a result, his style evolved: landscape painting and rural motifs. He highlighted peasants and everyday scenes in his paintings. The depiction of nature and the earthy tones exude calm. He placed the less popular social works in a different light, melancholy and full of harmony in natural balance.
The most famous of his paintings are: "The corn sweeper", "The Binder", "The Sower", "The Gleaners "," The Man with the Hoe "," The Reapers "and" Returning from the Field ".
Millet was named" Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur "in 1867. From the late sixties Jean-François Millet receives his due recognition for his works, followed by financial success and reputation, and his works are shown at international exhibitions.
Weakened by a long-lasting illness, Millet died on January 20, 1875 in Barbizon.