Men and Women at Work


An exhibit on the painting of Jean-Francois Millet. PRESENTATION: Saturday, January 17, 3:00 pm.

GUIDED TOURS: Friday: 9:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am; 11:30 am; 12:30 pm; 2:00 pm; 4:00 pm; 5:30 pm; 7:00 pm; 8:30 pm
Sunday: 10:30 am; 12 noon; 1:30 pm; 3:00 pm; 4:30 pm; 6:30 pm; 8:00 pm

DRAMA SURROUNDED WITH SPLENDOR: MEN AND WOMEN AT WORK IN THE PAINTINGS OF JEAN FRANÇOIS MILLET
This year is the bicentennial of the birth of one of the most significant modern painters, Jean François Millet. In addition to this commemoration, this exhibit celebrates the passion that Millet had for men and women at work as the subjects of his paintings.

"The general disaffectedness with labor" – wrote Charles Péguy in 1910 – "is the most profound defect, the fundamental defect of the modern world."

Some decades earlier Jean-François Millet, had chosen work – labor – as the preferred subject matter for his paintings — and, in effect, his works are charged with a sincere depth of feeling for the daily toil of humankind. He said: "At the bottom it always comes to this: a man must be touched himself in order to touch others, and all that is done from theory, however clever, can never attain this end, for it is impossible that it should have the breath of life. It is a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal, to quote Saint Paul."

Labor as depicted by Millet has an epic quality which, while safeguarding the dignity of the individual, highlights the contribution of work to the common good in its transfiguring of the land.