MILLET, Jean-François (1814 - 1875)
Media: oil on canvas
Size: 95.3 x 61.3 cm
Acquired: 1952; Bequest; Gwendoline Davies
Accession Number: NMW A 2474
Collection: The Davies Sisters Collection
Executed in 1847-48, this is a preliminary version of the painting of a peasant sowing with which Millet made his name at the Salon of 1850-51. Here the sower is a faltering figure enveloped by his surroundings, his seed threatened by hungry birds. On the horizon are two grazing cattle. The steep landscape is that of Millet's native Cherbourg peninsula. This poignant scene recalls the biblical parable and is a moving image of an opresed social class. It was purchased by Gwendoline Davies in 1911.