Millet and Modern Art

From Van Gogh to Dalí

Edited by Simon Kelly and Maite van Dijk; With Nienke Bakker and Abigail Yoder

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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.


Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
(October 4, 2019–January 12, 2020)

Saint Louis Art Museum
(February 16–May 17, 2020)

“Intriguing . . . thought provoking”—Cindy Helms, New York Journal of Books
ISBN: 9780300248661
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Van Gogh Museum and the Saint Louis Art Museum
208 pages, 8 5/8 x 11
192 color + b/w illus.

Sales Restrictions: World excluding Benelux
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