top of page

The dining room


Of modest dimensions, equipped with a fireplace (later decorated with medallions copied from David d'Angers) with its window which opens onto the garden and the staircase, with its clock stopped at six o'clock (the time at which Millet died ), this piece is particularly moving. We can guess there, without great speech or exegesis, the stoic character and the taste for frugality of the one who - painter in clogs - lived there, surrounded by his wife, his nine children, his brother, his servant and of his passing friends.

Photos, self-portraits, a drawing by Achille Devéria, a palette, a mass book and various documents show that, behind an artist's beard and a melancholy gaze that expresses his permanent "homesickness", was hiding an exceptional sensitivity.

Etchings, engravings, in their various states, drawings, a sketch on canvas in charcoal heightened with white, testify to the dexterity of the draftsman and his ability to fix the moment to give it an almost mythical presence.

Even if these moving testimonies have only anecdotal significance, compared to the large pieces of painting that are in the Musée d'Orsay, in Boston, in Philadelphia or at the Hermitage, all of Millet is there, with his house around...

Vincent Van Gogh, who considered him a sort of father, would later say: “For me, he is Millet, the essentially modern painter, thanks to whom the horizon opened up before us”.

Note, on the fireplace, the bronzes of Antoine Barye and Rosa Bonheur.

Millet was fascinated by photography; he collected postcards and reproductions of works of art and insisted that his works be the subject of photographic reproductions. He posed himself willingly for photographers and what is less known, he tried his hand at shooting. Three of his plates, kept at the National Library, made it possible to make the digital prints exhibited here. His biographers never mentioned it.

bottom of page