Art of J F Millet

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Barbizon – Atelier J F Millet
artist ‘Le Gail’ – coloured etching

Jean-Francois Millet (October 4, 1814 – January 20, 1875) was a French painter and one of the founders of the Barbizon School in rural France. He painted mostly scenes of peasant farmers and country life. He was part of the “naturalism” movement , but could also as be considered a “realist”. The Barbizon School was a group of landscape artists working in the area of the French town of Barbizon, south of Paris. This group abandoned tradition and theory in an attempt at a truer representation of life in the countryside. Although coming from the same school these artists were considered to be individuals and approached their art in their own personal style. They had a great influence upon the impressionists which came after them.

Both of the coloured prints are from the ‘Atelier J F Millet’, titled ‘Barbizon’ and are signed ‘Le Garf’ – a known non de plume of Lucien Vader (1902-1978).  I would guess they would come from the mid 1900’s. They were set in their frames by the well known art dealers ‘Frost & Reed’ in 1964. Atelier means ‘workshop’. At an atelier a number of students, apprentices, or assistants worked under the tutelage of a master producing works that would go out under the masters name. I believe that the two story building on the left of the first picture was the home of J F Millet.

Barbizon – Atelier J F Millet – Titled ‘L’escalier’ (The Staircase)
artist ‘Le Gail’ – coloured etching

I have one other J F Millet in my collection. The last being a print of ‘A Shepherdess Knitting’. I do not know when it was printed but permission to do so originally was granted by a Mr F Keppel (d. 1912). Mr Keppel was an avid supporter of etchers and their work. His life-long love of art brought him in contact with many of the great artists of his day and he probably knew all the successful lithographers and etchers working. You can see from these prints that he loved the reality of his surroundings. He captured the little things that surrounded him with loving detail.

‘A Shepherdess Knitting’ by J F Millet
reads – by permission of Mr F Keppel

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7 Responses to Art of J F Millet

  1. Dave says:

    Having a clear out I found a print similar to the J F Millet ones you have here. It also has, in pencil, what appears to be “Barbizon Atelier J F Millet” in the lower left and “le Gail” in the lower right. The interesting fact is that it appears to be another version of “L’escalier”. It’s a wider view of a more rustic/rundown building but the basic plan is the same. The different roof levels are in the same place as are the doors & windows and the stairs themselves.

    Mine was also set in it’s frame in the 1960’s by the equally well known (but not normally for pictures!) Boots Picture Framing department

    • Matthew says:

      Hi Dave, I have recently bought a number of pictures at auction in Berkshire and it sounds like I have exactly the same picture. Bottom left ‘barbizon Atelier J F Millet’ Le Gail bottom right.
      Do you know anything else about it?

      • Dave says:

        No, sorry, It’s just a print which has been in the family since the sixties. I don’t know anything else about it

  2. Dominique Lebrun-Grandie says:

    Je possède également une lithographie semblable à la votre.

    Je tiens à vous préciser que ce n’est pas “le Gail” mais “Le Garf ” qui est la signature de Lucien Veder , graveur ( 1902-1978) et qui signait de ce nom pour n’être pas confondu avec son père Eugène Veder.

    Cordialement

  3. mclewis2013 says:

    I also have a similar painting of the Atelier J.F. Millet Barbizon by someone named Pier, but on the wall the location is painted with the signage using “L’Ecole de Barbizon, so I wondered if anyone knows when the signage would have used this so I could better determine when this painting was done.

  4. Dominique is correct. Your etching is by Lucien Veder who signs as Le Garf to avoid confusion with his father, Eugene.

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