The Potato Harvest

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The Potato Harvest
Jean-François Millet - The Potato Harvest - Walters 37115.jpg
ArtistJean-François Millet
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions54 cm × 65.2 cm (21 in × 25.7 in)
LocationThe Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

The Potato Harvest is a painting by the French artist Jean-François Millet.


Jean-François Millet was raised in the area of France known as the old province of Normandy. He was brought up with hard out-of-door labor. After studying to become a painter, he devoted his art to illustrating peasants farming the land. His subjects were often taken from his surroundings or from memories from his youth.[1]

During the 1850s, Millet began incorporating his subjects into landscapes. The Potato Harvest is one of nine works which drew international acclaim at the Exposition Universelle in 1867.[2]


The Potato Harvest depicts peasants working in the plains between Barbizon and Chailly. It presents a theme representative of the peasants' struggle for survival. Millet's technique for this work incorporated paste-like pigments thickly applied over a coarsely textured canvas.[2]

Off the Wall[edit]

Currently, The Potato Harvest is being featured in Off the Wall, an open-air exhibition on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland. A reproduction of the painting, the original is part of The Walters Art Museum collection, will be on display at Di Pasquales.[3] The National Gallery in London began the concept of bringing art out of doors in 2007 and the Detroit Institute of Art introduced the concept in the U.S.. The Off the Wall reproductions of the Walters' paintings are done on weather-resistant vinyl and include a description of the painting and a QR code for smart phones.[4]


  1. ^ [Estelle, M.H., Jean Francois Millet, Tredition, 2011, pp. 1-2, ISBN 3842434642]
  2. ^ a b [Johnston, W.R., Nineteenth Century Art: From Romanticism to Art Nouveau, The Walters Art Gallery, p.56, ISBN 1857592433]
  3. ^ Walters Art Museum - Off the Wall Archived 2012-11-19 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [Smith, T., Walters Art Museum goes of the wall, The Baltimore Sun, September 11, 2012]