The Easel

Marvelous Millet, in St. Louis

So, here’s the issue – Millet mattered 100 years ago but does he matter now? His strongest works depicted peasants sympathetically, reminding city folk of the nobility of rural life. His influence was broad – Degas, Pisarro and van Gogh. Then, the rupture of modernism. Suddenly Millet looked dated, “part of the furniture of civic life … an artist whose great work sits passively on the sidelines, inspiring nothing beyond nostalgia.”