Millet and Modern Art From Van Gogh to Dalí Simon Kelly, Maite van Dijk, Nienke Bakker, Abigail Yoder

Publication date:
22 Oct 2019
Yale University Press
208 pages: 279 x 219mm
192 color + b-w illus.
Sales territories:
World excluding Benelux

An insightful overview of how Millet influenced and inspired many modernist artists that followed him

Jean-François Millet (1814–1875) was one of the most important artists of the Barbizon School. Through his publicly exhibited works and their critical reception, Millet was of crucial significance to modernist painters. Millet’s modernity is evident in his varied subjects—from peasant themes to landscapes to nudes—and his anti-academic, rough paint application. He also produced highly inventive pastels and drawings.

Jean-François Millet examines the international range of artists whom he influenced. For instance, Millet was an artistic hero for Vincent van Gogh, whose treatment of numerous motifs—including The Sower and Starry Night—was directly inspired by the older artist. Van Gogh even painted a remarkable series of 21 “copies” after Millet’s work while living in the south of France in the final year of his life. Other artists on whom Millet had a profound impact include Camille Pissarro, Georges Seurat, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Winslow Homer, and, in the 20th century, most notably Edvard Munch and Salvador Dalí.

Simon Kelly is curator and head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Maite van Dijk and Nienke Bakker are senior curators of paintings at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Abigail Yoder is research assistant at the Saint Louis Art Museum.