Millet was born on October 4, 1814, in Gruchy,
a tiny hamlet linked to Greville-Hague, the
next village 9 kilometers west from Cherbourg.
He was the second child of a line of eight.
Trained with an academic painter in Paris, Millet
devoted his early work to portraits and erotic
nudes. He was sensitive to the changes brought
about by the increasing urbanisation and industrialisation
of France, and he was particularly inspired
by the social issues raised by the Revolution
Thereafter he turned to scenes of peasants labouring,
endowing them with heroic form adapted from
the art of the past. Millet was not one of those
who could live a quiet and monotonous single
life on their own. When Millet died in 1875,
he was buried at Barbizon, next to Théodore