The Gleaner, 1877 (oil on canvas), Breton, Jules (1827-1906) / Musee des Beaux-Arts, Arras, France / Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art Library
With great compassion, French artist Jules Breton (1827 – 1906) painted idealized images of peasant life. Breton believed that art should express the beautiful, and depicted peasants and their lives in simple yet stunning works. After his father died, Breton endured financial struggles that increased his empathy for peasants, which was reflected in his work. The artist often used his work to express his opinions about the social and economic issues of Paris’ lower classes. Breton regularly exhibited at the acclaimed Salon in Paris, and wrote two autobiographies.