The Angelus
By Jean Francois Millet

The Angelus
By Jean Francois Millet (1814-1875)
In the Louvre, Paris

Millet was one of the famous group of French painters who founded what is now known as the "Barbizon" School. He was the son of a peasant farmer, and his outlook was coloured by the incidents of peasant life which find such eloquent expression in his pictures. His work is distinguished by an absolute truthfulness to Nature which was the guiding principle of his life. He saw the peasant bent at his work in the fields, and he pictured him in all his gaunt poverty and weariness, while he invested him, by his inspired vision, with the symbolical dignity of labour. Thus, in painting life, Millet reveals the sublime in the commonplace, the promise hidden in the pain, and the mercy that hovers over sorrow.

"The Angelus" completes a series of three pictures by Millet which are considered his masterpieces. "The Sowers" typifies the labourer going forth bearing good seed with him "The Gleaners" shows the end of the harvest which has supplied the people's wants and left something over for the needy. "The Angelus" depicts the labourers' thanks for the gift of plenty.

The last picture is the most popular of all the works of this artist, and it expresses in full measure the simplicity and devoutness of his nature. His wish was to make the spectator realise the vesper hour, when the soft chimes call the toiler to thankful rest. The man and the woman have worked well, as their full sacks bear witness, and they are bending their heads in gratitude to their Creator for His gifts. On a small canvas, twenty-five inches long and twenty-one inches high, the painter has created a scene that is at once a prayer and an inspiration, which will hold its strong appeal as long as the colours last.

From the book "Famous Paintings" printed in 1913.

Large files of this public domain print are available at Stock Photos at Songs of Praise
(Firefox users must click again on the large photo to see the very large image.)

Online "Name the Painting"

Jean-Francois Millet
at the ArtChive

Millet Biography
at the Web Museum, Paris

Jean-Francois Millet
at Wikipedia

Millet Links
at ArtCyclopedia

Jean-Francois Millet
Life and Work

Jean-Francois Millet

Page Comments

Most Recent Comments ( See more comments on this page )
I have a wooden puzzle with the Angelus prine by Millet on it. It was made in Wethersfield, Ct but do not know the date. I would like the know how old it is. Thank you. It's a beautiful wooden puzzle and had been put away for a long time. It ame in a black box with the name of the manufacturer on it.
Janet Turner
I have this painting in my kitchen (by Home Interiors) Love it!
This painting is amazing to me. I chose it for a school project.
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Famous Paintings in this Series

M. Bompard

A Prayer to the Madonna


The Madonna and Child

Sir Edward Coley

King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid

Sir Edward Coley

The Mill

Jean Charles Cazin


John Constable

Boat-Building Near
Flatford Mill

John Crome

On the Skirts of the Forest

Pascal Adolphe Jean

The Blessed Bread

Theophile Emanuel Duverger


C.W. Furse

Diana of the Uplands

W.H. Gore


Peter Graham

A Rainy Day

Jean Baptiste Greuze

The Listening Girl

Sir James Guthrie

A Highland Funeral

Frans Hals

A Man With a Glove
In His Hand

Hans Holbein the Younger

The Ambassadors

Henry Holiday

Dante and Beatrice

Sir Edwin Landseer


Sir Edwin Landseer

A Naughty Child

H.H. La Thangue

Mowing Bracken

Sir Thomas Lawrence

Caroline of Brunswick,
Queen of George IV.

G.D. Leslie

Sun and Moon Flowers

J. Seymour Lucas


Jean Louis Ernest

The Print Collector

Jean Francois Millet

The Angelus

Jean Francois Millet

Going to Work

Sir William Quiller

The Farmer's Daughter

Ralph Peacock



His Own Portrait

Sir Joshua Reynolds

The Infant Samuel

Sir Joshua Reynolds

The Strawberry Girl

George Romney

The Parson's Daughter

W. Dendy Sadler

A Good Story

W. Dendy Sadler


William Small

The Last Match

J.M. Swan

On the Alert,
Lioness and Cubs

J.M.W. Turner

Peace: Burial at Sea of the
Body of Sir David Wilkie

J.M.W. Turner

Rain Steam and Speed
The Great Western Railway


Portrait of a Spanish Lady
"La Femme a L'Eventail"

Frederick Walker

The Vagrants

George Frederick Watts


James McNeill Whistler

My Mother

Anders Zorn

A Fisherman

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