Studies for Harvesters Resting
This drawing is a lively example of an artist thinking on paper—experimenting with position and gesture, and even turning the paper upside down to work on it from another direction. It is one of more than fifty preparatory drawings Jean-François Millet made for the large painting Harvesters Resting, 1853, which recasts the biblical story of Ruth and Boaz with the rural workers of the Barbizon region who were this Realist artist’s primary subject. On the left a quickly sketched Ruth wears heavy clogs, while the figure of Boaz is depicted twice—dressed and nude—demonstrating Millet’s academic training and thorough understanding of anatomy. In the biblical story, the poor gleaner Ruth marries the wealthy landowner Boaz, but here, Boaz is dressed as a nineteenth-century métayer, a sharecropper who oversaw farms for a wealthy urban landowner. Instead of a poor woman marrying a rich man, Millet suggests the union of two members of different lower classes—a potentially dangerous situation for the landowners—giving the image a contemporaneous political inflection.
Conté crayon on wove paper
Uneven: 7 1/2 x 11 5/8 in. (19.1 x 29.5 cm) (show scale)
Stamped lower left: "J.F.M." (Lugt 1460)
Signed, "J.F.M." lower left of composition in crayon.
This item is not on view
Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean-François Millet (French, 1814-1875). Studies for Harvesters Resting, n.d. Conté crayon on wove paper, Uneven: 7 1/2 x 11 5/8 in. (19.1 x 29.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund, 36.66 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 36.66_PS9.jpg)
overall, 36.66_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.