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Title Peasant Woman of Burgundy
Collection Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle
Artist Attributed to after Millet, Jean-François (French painter and draftsman, 1814-1875)
Previously attributed to Millet, Jean-François (French painter and draftsman, 1814-1875)
Date Earliest about 1840
Date Latest about 1860
Description Even though this portrait used to be attributed to Millet, there is now much doubt about this, and it is most likely to be after Millet's early style of portraits. However, a possibility remains that it may actually be an early Millet, as he painted portraits of peasant women at the beginning of his career. Millet's portraits appear however more diffuse and softer than the rather sharp lines defining the Peasant Woman of Burgundy. There is doubt as to the veracity of the title, as, according to experts in Burgundy, the woman's headdress does not appear to be typical of that region.
Current Accession Number B.M.330
Former Accession Number No. 680
Subject portrait
Measurements 55.5 x 45.5 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by the founders John and Joséphine Bowes 1885.
Principal Exhibitions Textile Treasures of the Hatton Gallery, 2004.
Notes This was no. 680 in John Bowes' catalogue as 'Portrait of a Woman, native of Burgundy. White Cap, and blue Shawl, Jean François Millet, b.1815, d.1875'. This could possibly be an early Millet, but there is considerable doubt about this attribution. See Lepoittevin, L., Jean-François Millet, Portraitiste. Essai et catalogue, Paris, 1971 for images of early Millet pictures. See for instanceMme J. F. Roumy, grand-mère de Pauline Ono, no. 2 and Femme inconnue, no. 8, as they both show peasant women facing directly the artist, and wearing a head-dress and a shawl (they wear Normand costumes). Millet's style does appear more subtle however than B.M.330. There is a certain resemblance between B.M. 330 and Millet's very early peasant portraits (see for instance some examples in the Musée Thomas-Henry in Cherbourg). See also the portrait by Millet of his wife: Madame J.-F. Millet (Pauline-Virginie Ono), (1841 Tompkins Collection), reproduced in Millet - Sessanta capolavori dal Museum of Fine Arts di Boston, 2005, p. 75. Datation is difficult bu if this is after Millet then it may date from the mid-nineteenth century. According to the Musée d'art sacré et de la vie bourguignonne in Dijon, the headdress of the woman represented in B.M.330 does not correspond to the typology drawn up from the museum's collections. According to the same museum, this peasant woman does not have the typical features of a woman from Burgundy (email dated 18 August 2006).
Rights Owner The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham
Author Dr Maylis Hopewell-Curie
 

 

 

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