Date of this Version
There were three painters named Jean François Millet, but he who was born October 4, 1814, and lived at Barbizon, is the only one we know. It is even more suggestive that of all the world's great painters, our reverential love goes out to "our Millet" with an especial fervour. We feel as if he were one of us, and that from him, personally, we may learn much; more, perhaps, from his living and his painting. His biography and especially his letters may have a distinctive and vital value for us, other artists seeming detached, or impersonal, often characterless, at least without the intimacy and helpfulness of one in whose heart reigned the religion of fused truth and beauty for which most of us do little more than yearn.