Jean Francois Millet
Painter, born Gruchy, near Cherbourg, France, 4 October 1814; died Barbizon, France 20 January 1875.
He was the son of peasants, but was well educated at home.
He studied art in Cherbourg and then entered the studio of Delaroche in Paris.
After 1845 he devoted himself to the representation of peasant life, a field in which he is the acknowledged master.
"The Sower" was one of his earliest important works.
In 1849 he became one of the group of painters who made Barbizon famous.
Unpopular at first, he went on in the midst of distressing want producing paintings great in themselves and preaching a new gospel of the dignity of labor.
At fifty he was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
The "Angelus," now in the Louvre, was painted in 1859.
By many "The Gleaners" (1857) is considered a greater painting.
Among other well-known works are "The Haymakers," "The Man with the Hoe," and "The Vinedresser Resting."
New Catholic Dictionary