Sreda, 05 Maj 2021 18:10

The Man with a Hoe by Jean-François Millet is a symbol of the working class Istaknut

One of the founders of the Barbizon School, the French painter Jean-François Mile is known for his peasant scenes. First exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1863, the painting The Man with a Hoe caused a storm of controversial interpretations at the time because of its depiction of the brutal life to which peasants were subjected. The man in the picture was considered brutish and frightening by the public and critics and the painting itself was a social protest on behalf of peasants. Millet seemed to foresee the response to his work, when he wrote, "The Man with the Hoe will get me into hot water with many people who don't like to be asked to contemplate a different world." The painting is now housed in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Fieldworker is the focal point of the painting The Man with the Hoe and occupies the greater portion of the foreground. Bowed down by the effort of his toil, he is filthy and exhausted. The field he's plowing is tough, composed of hard soil and tangled grass. His feet, wearing rough wooden sabots turn at an angle so the viewer can perceive how he rests his whole weight upon the hoe. His clothes are rough and dirty, his jacket and hat are folded on the ground behind him. A tribute to dignity and courage is in the face of a life of unremitting exertion. Man, s mouth is open, and his face is careworn, as he stares blankly into the distance toward the green field. Far behind him other workers burn piles of brush in fields already cleared.

The palette of the painting The Man with the Hoe consists of simple variations of local color, much of it diluted. Atmospheric perspective makes the background colors lighter and more diluted than the foreground. The sky is a hazy blue with lavender overtones, as if from thin cloud cover, and his light source shows from the left, throwing the right side of the figure into shadow.

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