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The Potato Harvest
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The Potato Harvest


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description After moving from Paris to the village of Barbizon on the edge of the Fontainebleau forest in 1851, Millet devoted himself to portraying the lives of his neighbors. Some critics interpreted his paintings of working farmers as a critique of the injustices inherent in the social conditions of his time. Others have seen his work as a representation of man's harmonious union with nature. On the right a farmer is pouring a basket of potatoes into a sack held open by a woman. Beside the couple are three full sacks and a cart. Further back, at the left, two en are digging potatoes which are being gathered by women. The sky at the left is suffused with warm sunlight, whereas the right side is darkened by a glowering, low-lying rain cloud.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
2/01/1937Treatmentcleaned; coated; other
4/10/1975Treatmentcleaned; repaired; loss compensation; coated; other
2/01/1979Treatmentre-framed; other
6/14/1983Treatmentstabilized
4/29/1988Loan Considerationexamined for loan
2/08/1994Treatmentre-framed
9/25/1995Examinationexamined for condition
4/12/1999Examinationexamined for condition
Exhibitions
  • Millet and Barbizon Art. Matsumoto City Museum, Matsumoto City; Tokuyama City Museum of Art and History, Tokuyama; Kasama Nichido Museum, Kasama City; Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art, Kanazawa. 1996.
  • The Works of Antoine-Louis Barye. American Art Gallery (New York), New York. 1889-1890.
  • Exposition Universelle. Paris. 1867.
  • Corot and His Contemporaries. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston. 1959.
  • Jules Breton and the French Rural Tradition. Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha; The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis; The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown. 1982-1983.
  • Van Gogh and Millet. Rijksmuseum Vincent Van Gogh, Amsterdam. 1988-1989.
  • Before Monet: Landscape Painting in France and Impressionist Masters: Highlights from The Walters Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998.
  • Vive la France! French Treasures from the Middle Ages to Monet. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1999-2000.
  • Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
  • Triumph of French Painting: Masterpieces from Ingres to Matisse. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo. 2000-2002.
  • A Magnificent Age: Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte. 2002-2004.
  • The Road to Impressionism: Landscapes from Corot to Manet. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2004-2005.
  • In the Forest of Fontainebleau: Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet. National Gallery of Art, Washington; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston. 2008-2009.
  • 19th Century Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum. Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin. 2010-2011.
Provenance Papeleu, prior to 1863 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Baron Goethals, prior to 1867 [mode of acquisition unknown]; William T. Walters, Baltimore, prior to 1878 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] In black on lower right: J. F. Millet
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters, before 1878

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Period
1855
Medium
oil on canvas
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
37.115
Measurements
H: 21 1/4 x W: 25 11/16 in. (54 x 65.2 cm); Framed H with build-up: 37 1/8 x W: 41 9/16 x D: 5 1/2 in. (94.3 x 105.57 x 13.97 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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