Peasant with a Wheelbarrow

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Peasant with a Wheelbarrow
French: L'homme a la brouette
Jean-François Millet - Paysan avec brouette.jpg
Artist Jean-François Millet
Year ca. 1848-1852
Type Oil painting on canvas
Dimensions 37.78 cm × 45.40 cm (14.875 in × 17.875 in)
Location Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis

Peasant with a Wheelbarrow is an oil painting by French artist Jean-François Millet, located in the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which is in Indianapolis, Indiana. Begun in 1848 but not finished until Millet found a buyer in 1852, it depicts a peasant man pushing a wheelbarrow.[1]


In Peasant with a Wheelbarrow, Millet took a peasant farmer with simple clothes and tools, and transformed him into a symbol of the dignity of manual labor. The peasant is utterly idealized, bathed in a golden light and transmuted into an emblem of a vanishing way of life.[2]

Historical information[edit]

Moving to Barbizon in 1849, Millet quickly became associated with the Barbizon School. Although he shared their enthusiasm for painting fresh, outdoors scenes, Millet also liked to depict the local farmers. He found the nobility of the peasants, with their lives grounded in the soil, a welcome change from the instability of modern life.[3] The school was brought to its highest prominence by the Revolution of 1848. The classically trained Millet was making a powerful political statement with this image, which raised a humble rural scene to the same level as a history painting. This intimate portrait reveals Millet's poetic side. Soon, he would transition to epic canvases for the Salon.[1]


Peasant with a Wheelbarrow was acquired by the IMA in 1949, a gift of the James E. Roberts Fund and the Alumni Association of the John Herron Art School. It is currently on view in the Norb & Ruth Schaefer, Sr. and Norb & Carolyn Schaefer Jr. Gallery and has the accession number 49.48.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Day, Holliday T. (1988). Indianapolis Museum of Art Collections Handbook. Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art. ISBN 0936260203. 
  2. ^ Lee, Ellen Wardwell; Robinson, Anne (2005). Indianapolis Museum of Art: Highlights of the Collection. Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art. ISBN 0936260777. 
  3. ^ Magister, Senex. "Jean Francois Millet". Pagina Artis. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Peasant with a Wheelbarrow". Indianapolis Museum of Art. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 

External links[edit]