JULES BRETON 1827- French School
JEAN FRANC + ̦OIS MILLET 1814-1875 Fontainebleau-Barbizon School of France
HERE are two pictures of peasant subjects, and, as it happens, with similar titles: Jules Breton The Gleaner, and The Gleaners by Jean François Millet .
With what a proud carriage Breton's girl strides through the field! How painfully Millet's women are stooping! Their figures are clumsy, uncouthly clad, and you cannot see their faces. This girl, however, is dressed in a manner that sets off her strong and supple form; her face is handsome and its expression haughtily independent. As the meek women stoop, each carries one of her hands behind her back. If you imitate for yourself the action of leaning down and extending one hand, you will find that the other has an involuntary tendency to go back in order to maintain the balance. This natural tendency of the human body to secure its balance by opposing direction of its parts is a principle that the best artists rely upon to produce a perfect poise of rest or movement in their figures.
Now study the arms in Breton's picture. The left one -- with what a gesture of elegant decision it is placed