Jean-Francois Millet was a French painter and one of the founders of the Barbizon school in rural France. He is noted for his scenes of peasant farmers. He can be categorized as part of the movement termed “naturalism”, but also as part of the movement of “realism”.
Millet was the first child of Jean-Louis-Nicolas and Aimee-Henriette-Adelaide Henry Millet, members of the peasant community in the village of Gruchy, in Greville-Hague (Normandy). Under the guidance of two village priests, Millet acquired a knowledge of Latin and modern authors, before being sent to Cherbourg in 1833 to study with a portrait painter named Paul Dumouchel. By 1835 he was studying full-time with Lucien-Theophile Langlois, a pupil of Baron Gros, in Cherbourg. A stipend provided by Langlois and others enabled Millet to move to Paris in 1837, where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts with Paul Delaroche. In 1839 his scholarship was terminated, and his first submission to the Salon was rejected.