The Gleaners

The Gleaners by Jean Franois Millet

The Gleaners by Jean Franois Millet was produced in 1857 and is considered to be one of the famous artworks of Realism movement. The work can be viewed now at Musée d'Orsay, Paris


Medium: Oil Painting 

Subject(s): gleaners, woman


The Gleaners is an oil painting produced in 1857 by French painter Jean François Millet.

The name of the painting was inspired by a manufacturing company having the same name.

This painting depicts a scene of a field after the harvest where three women were gleaning the grains of wheat. For this work, Jean François Millet had done a research on the theme of gleaners for over ten years. These woman from the working class were authorized to gleaner the grains at the sunset and pick up corns missed by the harvesters in rural area. In the foreground of the painting, three-woman workers were working with their eyes focused on the ground and they were bent double. They had to complete three tasks which the artist wanted to convey that the first task was to bend, second task was to pick up ears of corn while the last one includes straighten up. These workers had to repeat these three steps over and over again.

The Gleaners was regarded as the most famous and best works of Millet. The image of the woman bending over inspired several young artists such as Seurat, Renoir, van Gogh, etc. Robert Rosenblum was a famous historian said that this painting had introduced a new presence of theme during the mid-century.

This painting rather focused on the lower class of the French society featuring sympathy to workers but this was not received well from the Upper class of French society. This painting was discussed in the film The Gleaners and I by Agnes Varda. The dimensions of the painting were 83.8 cm × 111.8 cm or 33 in × 44 in.

The Gleaners is an oil painting produced in 1857 by French painter Jean François Millet.



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