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The End of the Workday (La fin de la journée)
29 1/4 x 37 x 3/4 in. (74.3 x 94 x 1.9 cm)
Jean François Millet
(1814 - 1875)
Medium and Support:
Pastel and crayon on paper
George Eastman Collection of the University of Rochester
Location: Not currently on view
George Eastman Collection
On one of their many long, evening walks, Millet said to his brother Pierre: “It is astonishing toward the approach of night, how grand everything on the plain appears, especially when we see figures thrown out against the sky. Then they look like giants.”
The End of the Workday showcases Millet’s fascination with the hour of twilight, which moved him by its power to transform human and other natural forms into strange shapes, evocative of dreams. The pastel, which shows a peasant silhouetted against the fading sky, putting on his jacket after a day of labor, is classic Millet. Best known as a painter of peasants, a politically and socially complex subject matter in France of the 1800s, his scenes of rural life focused on the human figure as much if not more than the landscape.
[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]