Shepherdess and Her Flock (detail), about 1864–65, Jean-François Millet. Pastel with black chalk and touches of black ink on tan paper. The J. Paul Getty Museum

Peasants in Pastel: Millet and the Pastel Revival


South Pavilion, Upper Level

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Long associated with aristocratic portraiture, pastel had fallen out of fashion by the mid-nineteenth century, when Jean-François Millet turned the powdery medium to a quite different purpose: scenes of contemporary peasant life. This installation presents a selection of pastels by Millet and his followers, addressing the relationship between rural labor and urban collecting and encouraging visitors to consider how an artist’s chosen medium affects our understanding of his or her subject matter.

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