Jean-François Millet was born on 04 october 1814 in Gruchy near Cherbourg in Normandy. His family  was a very close-knit family of modest peasants. He was given a solid education. His extensive culture was admired by freinds and visitors through his lifetime. His father recognized his great gift for drawing and encouraged him to persue it. In 1833 he enrolled  his son in the studio of Dumouchel in Cherbourg. In 1837, the city of Cherbourg granted him a  scholarship to the Beaux-Arts School in Paris where he became a student of Paul Delaroche Studio.   After his successful participation in the Salon in Paris (1840), he had to return to Cherbourg for money and became portrait painter. In 1841, he married Pauline-Virginie Ono and returned with her to live  in Paris. After his wife’s death in 1844, he went back to Cherbourg  for a short stay and left the city  for good in 1845 with a servent, Catherine Lemaire, his future wife. In the wake of the cholera epidemic of 1849, Millet, Catherine Lemaire and their three children left  Paris with Charles Jacque and his family, to seek refuge on the edge of the Fontainebleau Forest, in  Barbizon. Intending to stay for only a few weeks, he stayed there for the remainder of his life, where  he produced the major part of his work. Here he found home, landscape, freinds and hamlet of  peasants reminiscent of his native village in Normandy, surrounded by painters who, like himself,  were struggling to impose a new trend, which would later become known as the “Barbizon School”.   He lived in this hamlet of woodcutters and poor labourers, working in his studio and his kitchen  garden, raising nine children, and never ceasing to ponder the links which unite man and nature.  He had become very weak and died in this house in 1875. Three weeks earlier the parish priest had  united him in a religiuos ceremony with Catherine Lemaire, the mother of his nine children. He had  married her in a civil ceremony in 1853, a few months after his own mother’ death.  Millet is father . . . counsellor and mentor in everything for young artists  Vincent VAN GOGH