Marvelous Millet, in St. Louis

The Angelus, 1857-1859, by Jean-François Millet. Oil on canvas. (Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France 2020.28; Photo: Patrice Schmidt, © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY)
We can debate his influence on modernists, but a new retrospective of his work shows his enduring appeal.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he new exhibition at the St. Louis Art Museum is Millet and Modern Art from Van Gogh to Dali. Jean-Francois Millet (1814–1875) painted The Sowers, The Angelus, and The Gleaners, all spectacularly famous in Millet’s day as well as controversial. They’re recognized today, remaining after years and layers of subsequent art movements in our communal Rolodex of images.

Millet did multiple incarnations of gleaners and sowers, as well as knitters, spinners, mowers, faggot gatherers, and, here and there, saints and nudes. Most of the best are in St. Louis now. The show’s an elegantly done, moving tutorial on an artist who

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