Incapable of that Sort of Thing: Millet’s Dutch Sources

Jean-François Millet,  Woman Returning from the Well (Girl Carrying Wat,  1856, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

In Jean-François Millet’s work, what passed for direct observation was often borrowed from Dutch art. This essay reveals a previously unrecognized Dutch source, Jan Luyken, whose popular manual for housewives and book of trades were a treasure trove of source material for Millet’s depictions of traditional peasant labor. Luyken and other Dutch sources allowed Millet to cultivate an aesthetic that turned back the clock on industrialism and urbanization, perpetuating the myth that the agrarian lifestyle was resistant to time and change.

DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2013.5.2.17

Acknowledgements

If my insights in this essay are at all valuable, it’s because they rest on the  techniques of visual analysis in which Egbert trains all his students. From him we learn to look closely, patiently and unpretentiously, and always to support our observations with meticulous research. I thank him for his razor-sharp intellect, his personal gentleness and, most of all, for the lifelong gift of his teaching.

Jean-François Millet,  Daphnis and Chloé,  ca. 1848–50,  National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Fig. 1 Jean-François Millet, Daphnis and Chloé, ca. 1848–50, black chalk on paper, 11.4 x 20.2 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, inv. no. 338 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Rembrandt,  Jupiter and Antiope: The Larger Plate, 1659,  Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
Fig. 2 Rembrandt, Jupiter and Antiope: The Larger Plate, 1659, etching, engraving, and drypoint, first state, 13.8 x 20.4 cm. Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, inv. no. RvR 289 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Femme à moitié nue, étendue au pied d'une meu,  ca. 1846,  Musée du Louvre, Département des arts graphiques, Paris
Fig. 3 Jean-François Millet, Femme à moitié nue, étendue au pied d'une meule (Half-naked woman, lying at the base of a haystack), ca. 1846, black chalk on paper, 18.2 cm x 32.2 cm. Musée du Louvre, Département des arts graphiques, Paris, inv. no. RF 5226, recto (artwork in the public domain) Photo: © Musée du Louvre [comparison viewer]
Jacques Adrien Lavieille (1818–1862) after Jean-François Millet, printed by Jules Claye, Noon, 1860,  The Art Institute of Chicago
Fig. 4 Jacques Adrien Lavieille (1818–1862) after Jean-François Millet, printed by Jules Claye, Noon, 1860, wood engraving on paper, 14.8 x 22 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago, inv. no. 1944.75 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Christ among the Doctors,  mid-1840s,  Musée du Louvre département des Arts graphiques, Paris
Fig. 5 Jean-François Millet, Christ among the Doctors, mid-1840s, graphite on paper, 19.2 x 30.1 cm. Musée du Louvre, département des Arts graphiques, Paris, inv. no. RF 5883, recto (artwork in the public domain) Photo: © Musée du Louvre [comparison viewer]
Rembrandt,  Christ among the Doctors, 1652,  Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Fig. 6 Rembrandt, Christ among the Doctors, 1652, etching and drypoint, 12.6 x 21.4 cm. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, inv. no. FASF.1821 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  The Cooper,  ca. 1848–50,  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Fig. 7 Jean-François Millet, The Cooper, ca. 1848–50, oil on canvas, 45.1 x 33.0 cm. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, inv. no. 17.1500 (artwork in the public domain) Photo: © MFA Boston [comparison viewer]
Jan Luyken,  Kuiper (Cooper) from Het Leerzam Huisraad,  1711.,
Fig. 8 Jan Luyken, Kuiper (Cooper) from Het Leerzam Huisraad, 1711. [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Young Mother Preparing the Evening Meal,  1848–50,  National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Fig. 9 Jean-François Millet, Young Mother Preparing the Evening Meal, 1848–50, pen and brown ink on paper, 20.8 x 16.8 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, inv. no. 339 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Jan Luyken,  De Pan (The Pan) from Het Leerzam Huisraad,  1711,
Fig. 10 Jan Luyken, De Pan (The Pan) from Het Leerzam Huisraad, 1711. [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Woman Returning from the Well (Girl Carrying Wat,  1856,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 11 Jean-François Millet, Woman Returning from the Well (Girl Carrying Water), 1856, oil on canvas, 41 x 33 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Jan Luyken,  De Was-tobben (The Washtub) from Het Leerzam H, 1711,
Fig. 12 Jan Luyken, De Was-tobben (The Washtub) from Het Leerzam Huisraad, 1711. [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Woman Sweeping Her Home,  1850s,  Private collection. Christie’s
Fig. 13 Jean-François Millet, Woman Sweeping Her Home, 1850s, black chalk on paper, dimensions unknown. Private collection. Christie’s, inv. no. CH 401576. Photo: © Christie's Images / The Bridgeman Art Library. [comparison viewer]
Jan Luyken,  De bezem (Broom) from Het Leerzam Huisraad, 1711,
Fig. 14 Jan Luyken, De bezem (Broom) from Het Leerzam Huisraad, 1711. [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Woman Mending by Her Sleeping Child,  ca. 1855,  Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia
Fig. 15 Jean-François Millet, Woman Mending by Her Sleeping Child, ca. 1855, oil on canvas, 46.4 x 37.5 cm. Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, inv. no.71.517(artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Rembrandt,  The Carpenter’s Household, 1640,  Musée du Louvre, Paris
Fig. 16 Rembrandt, The Carpenter’s Household, 1640, oil on canvas, 41x34 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no 1742 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
  1. 1. Jean Duchesne, Notice des estampes exposées à la Bibliothèque Royale (Paris: C. Heideloff, 1837), 64–73. Catalogue nos. 100–17 are by Rembrandt.

  2. 2. Robert Herbert, Jean-François Millet, exh. cat. (London: The Hayward Gallery, 1976),14. Herbert remarks that the drawing, “recalls Jupiter and Antiope by Rembrandt, whose composition forms a prototype for Millet’s.” For a more recent and comprehensive discussion of nineteenth-century responses to Rembrandt see, Alison McQueen, The Rise of the Cult of Rembrandt: The Power of Rembrandt in Nineteenth-Century France (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2003). http://dx.doi.org/10.5117/9789053566244

  3. 3. A drawing with a sleeping couple, early 1850s, comprised an intermediate step in this process. It has been lost since the Sensier sale (Drouot, Paris, Dec. 10–12, 1877, no. 265; Charles Yriarte, J.F. Millet [Paris: J Rouam, 1885], 52, ill.).

  4. 4. Alfred Sensier, Jean-Francois Millet, trans. Helena de Kay (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1896), 52.

  5. 5. For example, when the painter Edward Wheelwright wanted to buy Shepherdess Seated on a Rock (Cincinnati Art Museum, inv. no1940.984) and it was already spoken for, Millet had no qualms about making him another just like it. Winter Evening (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, inv. no. 17.1520), commissioned by the collector Émile Gavet in 1865, is a pastel version of the composition included in Les Quatres Heures du jour, engravings designed by Millet and published by Jacques-Adrien Lavieille in 1860.

  6. 6. Sensier, Jean-Francois Millet, 41–42.Although none of Millet’s copies after engravings have survived, one can safely assume that Dutch engravings were among the works Dumouchel assigned.

  7. 7. Robert Herbert, “City vs. Country: The Rural Image in French Painting from Millet to Gauguin,” ArtForum, 8, no. 6 (Feb. 1970): 44–55. A more recent investigation of Millet’s sources is Maura Coughlin, “The Artistic Origins of the French Peasant Painter, Jean-François Millet: Between Normandy and Barbizon”(PhD diss., New York University, 2001). See also her discussion of the origins of Millet’s milkmaids in popular imagery: Maura Coughlin, “Millet’s Milkmaids,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 2, no. 1 (Winter 2003): www.19thcartworldwide.org/index.php/winter03/247-millets-milkmaids (accessed June 2, 2011).

  8. 8. Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, French Realism and the Dutch Masters: The Influence of Dutch Seventeenth-CenturyPainting on the Development of French Painting between 1830 and 1870 (Utrecht: Haentjens Dekker and Gumbert, 1974), 37–39.            Other authors have suggested that the impetus for Millet’s focus on the art of the Netherlands in the 1850s was indirect. Alexandra Murphy, for example, believes it came through the work of Chardin. See Alexandra R. Murphy, Jean-François Millet: Drawn into the Light, exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1984), 91.

  9. 9. Alfred Sensier, “Salon de 1866,” L’Epoque, May 8, 1866 (1st article) (published under the pseudonym Jean Ravenel). Quoted in Christopher Parsons and Neil McWilliam, “‘Le Paysan de Paris’: Alfred Sensier and the Myth of Rural France,” Oxford Art Journal 6, no. 2 (1983): 55. For later views, see Coughlin, Artistic Origins of the French Peasant Painter. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxartj/6.2.38

  10. 10. See Bruce Laughton, The Drawings of Daumier and Millet, (London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), 78.

  11. 11. Letter, Barbizon, April 7, 1865: Sensier, Jean-François Millet, 182–83.

  12. 12. “Un lot de gravures de Rembrandt, Jan Luyken, Van Ostade, etc. 45 pièces”: Vente Veuve Millet, sale cat., Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 24–25, 1894.

  13. 13. Het Menselyk Bedryf (The Book of Trades) was published in 1694 and Het Leerzaam Huisraad (The Tutelary Household) in 1711.

  14. 14. Two sources have been proposed previously. Herbert, “City vs. Country,” 94, notes that this is a traditional pose for coopers and claims that Clément-Auguste Andrieux’s illustration for Pierre Dupont’s Le Tonnelier (1853) is in “the same pose,” while Murphy, Jean-François Millett, 46, points to Edmé Bouchardon’s illustration from the Cris de Paris (Paris: Fessard, 1737–46), as a possible source. Neither the cooper of Andrieux (1829–after 1880) nor that of Bouchardon (1698–1762) resemble, in my opinion, Millet’s active figure as closely as does Luyken’s.

  15. 15. Quoted in Laughton, Drawings of Daumier and Millet, 78.

  16. 16. Sensier bought these with the intention of having them made into a series of prints. The series was never completed.

  17. 17. Parsons and McWilliam, “‘Le Paysan de Paris,’” 39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxartj/6.2.38

  18. 18. Alfred Sensier, “Le paysage et les Paysans”(part of the review of the Salon of 1869), Revue Internationale de l’Art et de la Curiosité 1, no. 5 (May 1869), 399. Quoted in Parsons and McWilliam, “‘Le Paysan de Paris,’” 39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxartj/6.2.38

  19. 19. Linda Nochlin, Realism and Tradition in Art, 1848-1900: Sources and Documents (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966), 55. Théophile Thoré (pseud. W. Bürger), “Salon de 1861,” in Salons de W. Bürger, 1861–1868,(Paris: Librairie Renouard, 1870), 1:93.

  20. 20. Thoré, Salons de W. Bürger, 1:96. Perhaps in anticipation of this connection made by Thoré and presumably others, Millet’s picture mirrors Rembrandt’s composition in reverse, presenting the left-hand figure from the back, and the right-hand figure in a rustic doorway.

  21. 21. Thoré, “Salon de 1861, ” in Salons de W. Bürger, 1:96.Both Thoré and Millet were no doubt familiar with Prosper Louis Roux’s imaginative etching of Rembrandt’s studio, which appeared at the Salon of 1857. In it theAngel Raphael Leaving the Family of Tobit, owned by the Louvre, occupies an easel in the background, while three seventeenth-century connoisseurs lean in to examine it. Roux depicts Rembrandt enjoying the critical attention that Thoré envisioned for the Realists of his own time.

  22. 22. Edward Wheelwright, “Personal Recollections of Jean-François Millet,” Atlantic Monthly 38 (Sept. 1876): 272–73.

  23. 23. In order to avoid appearing derivative, Millet borrowed the infant lying on its back beneath a coverlet, from which a tiny arm escapes, from Luyken’s illustration of a cradle. Luyken himself had borrowed the cradle from Rembrandt’s Virgin and Child with Angels (The Hermitage, St. Petersburg).

  24. 24. Mathilde Stevens, “Impressions d’une femme au Salon de 1859,”Le Monte Cristo7, no. 2 (June 1859): 99. Translated in Parsons and McWilliam,“‘Le Paysan de Paris,’” 56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxartj/6.2.38

  25. 25. Herbert, “City vs. Country,” 50.

  26. 26. Murphy, Jean-François Millet, 115.

  27. 27. Alfred Sensier, La vie et l’oeuvre de J.-F. Millet (Paris: A. Quantin), 1881, 301, 302n1.

  28. 28. Paul Mantz, “J. –F. Millet,”Le Temps, March 2, 1875, 3.

  29. 29. Sensier, Jean-François Millet, 141.

  30. 30. Camille Pissarro: Letters to His Son Lucien, ed. John Rewald (New York: Pantheon, 1943), 110–11.

Chu, Petra ten-Doesschate. French Realism and the Dutch Masters: The Influence of Dutch Seventeenth-Century Painting on the Development of French Painting between 1830 and 1870. Utrecht: Haentjens Dekker and Gumbert, 1974.

Coughlin, Maura. “Millet’s Milkmaids.” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide2, no. 1 (Winter 2003). www.19thcartworldwide.org/index.php/winter03/247-millets-milkmaids. Accessed June 2, 2011.

______. “The Artistic Origins of the French Peasant Painter, Jean-François Millet: Between Normandy and Barbizon.”PhD diss., New York University, 2001.

Duchesne, Jean. Notice des estampes exposées a la Bibliothèque Royale. Paris: C. Heideloff, 1837.

Herbert, Robert. “City vs. Country: The Rural Image in French Painting from Millet to Gauguin.” ArtForum 8, no. 6 (Feb. 1970): 44–55.

_____. Jean-François Millet. Exh. cat. London: The Hayward Gallery, 1976.

Laughton, Bruce. The Drawings of Daumier and Millet. London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.

Luyken, Jan. Het Leerzaam Huisraad. Amsterdam, 1711.

______. Het Menselyk Bedryf. Amsterdam, 1694.

Mantz, Paul. “J.-F. Millet.” Le Temps, March 2, 1875.

McQueen, Alison. The Rise of the Cult of Rembrandt: The Power of Rembrandt in Nineteenth-Century France. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.5117/9789053566244

Murphy, Alexandra R. Jean-François Millet: Drawn into the Light. Exh. cat. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1984.

Nochlin, Linda. Realism and Tradition in Art, 1848–1900: Sources and Documents. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966.

Parsons, Christopher, and Neil McWilliam. “‘Le Paysan de Paris’: Alfred Sensier and the Myth of Rural France.” Oxford Art Journal 6, no. 2 (1983): 38–58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxartj/6.2.38

Pissarro, Camille. Camille Pissarro: Letters to His Son Lucien. Edited by John Rewald. New York: Pantheon, 1943.

Sensier, Alfred (pseud. Jean Ravenel). “Salon de 1866.” L’Epoque, May 8, 1866.

Sensier, Alfred. “Le paysage et les Paysans.” Revue Internationale de l’Art et de la Curiosité 1, no. 5 (May 1869): 385-406.

_____. Jean-Francois Millet. Translated by Helena de Kay. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1896.

Sensier, Alfred, and Paul Mantz. La vie et l’oeuvre de J.-F. Millet. Paris: A. Quantin, 1881.

Stevens, Mathilde. “Impressions d’une femme au Salon de 1859.” Le Monte Cristo 7, no. 2 (June 1859): 99.

Théophile Thoré (pseud. W. Bürger). Salons de W. Bürger, 1861–1868. 2 vols. Paris: Librairie Renouard, 1870.

Vente Veuve Millet. Sale cat.: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 24–25, 1894.

Wheelwright, Edward. “Personal Recollections of Jean-François Millet.” Atlantic Monthly 38 (Sept. 1876): 272–73.

List of Illustrations

Jean-François Millet,  Daphnis and Chloé,  ca. 1848–50,  National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Fig. 1 Jean-François Millet, Daphnis and Chloé, ca. 1848–50, black chalk on paper, 11.4 x 20.2 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, inv. no. 338 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Rembrandt,  Jupiter and Antiope: The Larger Plate, 1659,  Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
Fig. 2 Rembrandt, Jupiter and Antiope: The Larger Plate, 1659, etching, engraving, and drypoint, first state, 13.8 x 20.4 cm. Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, inv. no. RvR 289 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Femme à moitié nue, étendue au pied d'une meu,  ca. 1846,  Musée du Louvre, Département des arts graphiques, Paris
Fig. 3 Jean-François Millet, Femme à moitié nue, étendue au pied d'une meule (Half-naked woman, lying at the base of a haystack), ca. 1846, black chalk on paper, 18.2 cm x 32.2 cm. Musée du Louvre, Département des arts graphiques, Paris, inv. no. RF 5226, recto (artwork in the public domain) Photo: © Musée du Louvre [comparison viewer]
Jacques Adrien Lavieille (1818–1862) after Jean-François Millet, printed by Jules Claye, Noon, 1860,  The Art Institute of Chicago
Fig. 4 Jacques Adrien Lavieille (1818–1862) after Jean-François Millet, printed by Jules Claye, Noon, 1860, wood engraving on paper, 14.8 x 22 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago, inv. no. 1944.75 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Christ among the Doctors,  mid-1840s,  Musée du Louvre département des Arts graphiques, Paris
Fig. 5 Jean-François Millet, Christ among the Doctors, mid-1840s, graphite on paper, 19.2 x 30.1 cm. Musée du Louvre, département des Arts graphiques, Paris, inv. no. RF 5883, recto (artwork in the public domain) Photo: © Musée du Louvre [comparison viewer]
Rembrandt,  Christ among the Doctors, 1652,  Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Fig. 6 Rembrandt, Christ among the Doctors, 1652, etching and drypoint, 12.6 x 21.4 cm. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, inv. no. FASF.1821 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  The Cooper,  ca. 1848–50,  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Fig. 7 Jean-François Millet, The Cooper, ca. 1848–50, oil on canvas, 45.1 x 33.0 cm. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, inv. no. 17.1500 (artwork in the public domain) Photo: © MFA Boston [comparison viewer]
Jan Luyken,  Kuiper (Cooper) from Het Leerzam Huisraad,  1711.,
Fig. 8 Jan Luyken, Kuiper (Cooper) from Het Leerzam Huisraad, 1711. [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Young Mother Preparing the Evening Meal,  1848–50,  National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Fig. 9 Jean-François Millet, Young Mother Preparing the Evening Meal, 1848–50, pen and brown ink on paper, 20.8 x 16.8 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, inv. no. 339 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Jan Luyken,  De Pan (The Pan) from Het Leerzam Huisraad,  1711,
Fig. 10 Jan Luyken, De Pan (The Pan) from Het Leerzam Huisraad, 1711. [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Woman Returning from the Well (Girl Carrying Wat,  1856,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 11 Jean-François Millet, Woman Returning from the Well (Girl Carrying Water), 1856, oil on canvas, 41 x 33 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Jan Luyken,  De Was-tobben (The Washtub) from Het Leerzam H, 1711,
Fig. 12 Jan Luyken, De Was-tobben (The Washtub) from Het Leerzam Huisraad, 1711. [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Woman Sweeping Her Home,  1850s,  Private collection. Christie’s
Fig. 13 Jean-François Millet, Woman Sweeping Her Home, 1850s, black chalk on paper, dimensions unknown. Private collection. Christie’s, inv. no. CH 401576. Photo: © Christie's Images / The Bridgeman Art Library. [comparison viewer]
Jan Luyken,  De bezem (Broom) from Het Leerzam Huisraad, 1711,
Fig. 14 Jan Luyken, De bezem (Broom) from Het Leerzam Huisraad, 1711. [comparison viewer]
Jean-François Millet,  Woman Mending by Her Sleeping Child,  ca. 1855,  Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia
Fig. 15 Jean-François Millet, Woman Mending by Her Sleeping Child, ca. 1855, oil on canvas, 46.4 x 37.5 cm. Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, inv. no.71.517(artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]
Rembrandt,  The Carpenter’s Household, 1640,  Musée du Louvre, Paris
Fig. 16 Rembrandt, The Carpenter’s Household, 1640, oil on canvas, 41x34 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no 1742 (artwork in the public domain) [comparison viewer]

Footnotes

  1. 1. Jean Duchesne, Notice des estampes exposées à la Bibliothèque Royale (Paris: C. Heideloff, 1837), 64–73. Catalogue nos. 100–17 are by Rembrandt.

  2. 2. Robert Herbert, Jean-François Millet, exh. cat. (London: The Hayward Gallery, 1976),14. Herbert remarks that the drawing, “recalls Jupiter and Antiope by Rembrandt, whose composition forms a prototype for Millet’s.” For a more recent and comprehensive discussion of nineteenth-century responses to Rembrandt see, Alison McQueen, The Rise of the Cult of Rembrandt: The Power of Rembrandt in Nineteenth-Century France (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2003). http://dx.doi.org/10.5117/9789053566244

  3. 3. A drawing with a sleeping couple, early 1850s, comprised an intermediate step in this process. It has been lost since the Sensier sale (Drouot, Paris, Dec. 10–12, 1877, no. 265; Charles Yriarte, J.F. Millet [Paris: J Rouam, 1885], 52, ill.).

  4. 4. Alfred Sensier, Jean-Francois Millet, trans. Helena de Kay (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1896), 52.

  5. 5. For example, when the painter Edward Wheelwright wanted to buy Shepherdess Seated on a Rock (Cincinnati Art Museum, inv. no1940.984) and it was already spoken for, Millet had no qualms about making him another just like it. Winter Evening (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, inv. no. 17.1520), commissioned by the collector Émile Gavet in 1865, is a pastel version of the composition included in Les Quatres Heures du jour, engravings designed by Millet and published by Jacques-Adrien Lavieille in 1860.

  6. 6. Sensier, Jean-Francois Millet, 41–42.Although none of Millet’s copies after engravings have survived, one can safely assume that Dutch engravings were among the works Dumouchel assigned.

  7. 7. Robert Herbert, “City vs. Country: The Rural Image in French Painting from Millet to Gauguin,” ArtForum, 8, no. 6 (Feb. 1970): 44–55. A more recent investigation of Millet’s sources is Maura Coughlin, “The Artistic Origins of the French Peasant Painter, Jean-François Millet: Between Normandy and Barbizon”(PhD diss., New York University, 2001). See also her discussion of the origins of Millet’s milkmaids in popular imagery: Maura Coughlin, “Millet’s Milkmaids,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 2, no. 1 (Winter 2003): www.19thcartworldwide.org/index.php/winter03/247-millets-milkmaids (accessed June 2, 2011).

  8. 8. Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, French Realism and the Dutch Masters: The Influence of Dutch Seventeenth-CenturyPainting on the Development of French Painting between 1830 and 1870 (Utrecht: Haentjens Dekker and Gumbert, 1974), 37–39.            Other authors have suggested that the impetus for Millet’s focus on the art of the Netherlands in the 1850s was indirect. Alexandra Murphy, for example, believes it came through the work of Chardin. See Alexandra R. Murphy, Jean-François Millet: Drawn into the Light, exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1984), 91.

  9. 9. Alfred Sensier, “Salon de 1866,” L’Epoque, May 8, 1866 (1st article) (published under the pseudonym Jean Ravenel). Quoted in Christopher Parsons and Neil McWilliam, “‘Le Paysan de Paris’: Alfred Sensier and the Myth of Rural France,” Oxford Art Journal 6, no. 2 (1983): 55. For later views, see Coughlin, Artistic Origins of the French Peasant Painter. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxartj/6.2.38

  10. 10. See Bruce Laughton, The Drawings of Daumier and Millet, (London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), 78.

  11. 11. Letter, Barbizon, April 7, 1865: Sensier, Jean-François Millet, 182–83.

  12. 12. “Un lot de gravures de Rembrandt, Jan Luyken, Van Ostade, etc. 45 pièces”: Vente Veuve Millet, sale cat., Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 24–25, 1894.

  13. 13. Het Menselyk Bedryf (The Book of Trades) was published in 1694 and Het Leerzaam Huisraad (The Tutelary Household) in 1711.

  14. 14. Two sources have been proposed previously. Herbert, “City vs. Country,” 94, notes that this is a traditional pose for coopers and claims that Clément-Auguste Andrieux’s illustration for Pierre Dupont’s Le Tonnelier (1853) is in “the same pose,” while Murphy, Jean-François Millett, 46, points to Edmé Bouchardon’s illustration from the Cris de Paris (Paris: Fessard, 1737–46), as a possible source. Neither the cooper of Andrieux (1829–after 1880) nor that of Bouchardon (1698–1762) resemble, in my opinion, Millet’s active figure as closely as does Luyken’s.

  15. 15. Quoted in Laughton, Drawings of Daumier and Millet, 78.

  16. 16. Sensier bought these with the intention of having them made into a series of prints. The series was never completed.

  17. 17. Parsons and McWilliam, “‘Le Paysan de Paris,’” 39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxartj/6.2.38

  18. 18. Alfred Sensier, “Le paysage et les Paysans”(part of the review of the Salon of 1869), Revue Internationale de l’Art et de la Curiosité 1, no. 5 (May 1869), 399. Quoted in Parsons and McWilliam, “‘Le Paysan de Paris,’” 39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxartj/6.2.38

  19. 19. Linda Nochlin, Realism and Tradition in Art, 1848-1900: Sources and Documents (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966), 55. Théophile Thoré (pseud. W. Bürger), “Salon de 1861,” in Salons de W. Bürger, 1861–1868,(Paris: Librairie Renouard, 1870), 1:93.

  20. 20. Thoré, Salons de W. Bürger, 1:96. Perhaps in anticipation of this connection made by Thoré and presumably others, Millet’s picture mirrors Rembrandt’s composition in reverse, presenting the left-hand figure from the back, and the right-hand figure in a rustic doorway.

  21. 21. Thoré, “Salon de 1861, ” in Salons de W. Bürger, 1:96.Both Thoré and Millet were no doubt familiar with Prosper Louis Roux’s imaginative etching of Rembrandt’s studio, which appeared at the Salon of 1857. In it theAngel Raphael Leaving the Family of Tobit, owned by the Louvre, occupies an easel in the background, while three seventeenth-century connoisseurs lean in to examine it. Roux depicts Rembrandt enjoying the critical attention that Thoré envisioned for the Realists of his own time.

  22. 22. Edward Wheelwright, “Personal Recollections of Jean-François Millet,” Atlantic Monthly 38 (Sept. 1876): 272–73.

  23. 23. In order to avoid appearing derivative, Millet borrowed the infant lying on its back beneath a coverlet, from which a tiny arm escapes, from Luyken’s illustration of a cradle. Luyken himself had borrowed the cradle from Rembrandt’s Virgin and Child with Angels (The Hermitage, St. Petersburg).

  24. 24. Mathilde Stevens, “Impressions d’une femme au Salon de 1859,”Le Monte Cristo7, no. 2 (June 1859): 99. Translated in Parsons and McWilliam,“‘Le Paysan de Paris,’” 56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxartj/6.2.38

  25. 25. Herbert, “City vs. Country,” 50.

  26. 26. Murphy, Jean-François Millet, 115.

  27. 27. Alfred Sensier, La vie et l’oeuvre de J.-F. Millet (Paris: A. Quantin), 1881, 301, 302n1.

  28. 28. Paul Mantz, “J. –F. Millet,”Le Temps, March 2, 1875, 3.

  29. 29. Sensier, Jean-François Millet, 141.

  30. 30. Camille Pissarro: Letters to His Son Lucien, ed. John Rewald (New York: Pantheon, 1943), 110–11.

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DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2013.5.2.17
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Johanna Ruth Epstein, "Incapable of that Sort of Thing: Millet’s Dutch Sources," Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 5:2 (Summer 2013) DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2013.5.2.17