Sower After Millet, 1889 by Vincent Van Gogh

Sower After Millet from near the end of Van Gogh's career was of a subject that the artist had painted many times over the preceding years, and is on almost exact copy of one of his works painted in 1881. Peasant imagery was of great importance to Van Gogh, who began his career by copying prints of Millet, Corot ond other members of the Barbizon School. Van Gogh was a particular admirer of Millet, and once wrote about painting that, 'since Millet we have greatly deteriorated'.

Although Van Gogh was born into a middle-class family, he came from a small town, Nuenen where agriculture and therefore hard labour was a prevalent industry, and he later worked in areas of great poverty. He developed a strong sympathy and respect for the peasants that he saw, and was socialist in his opinions and outlook. His depictions of peasants remained similar in concept to those of Millet, in that he gave his figures an eternalizing, romantic spirit that emphasized their long history rather than using his paintings to advocate change,